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Aakash Chopra makes his predictions for the 1st T20I
By SMCS - Feb 24, 2022 11:45 am
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Veteran India opener turned famous commentator Aakash Chopra has made his predictions for the first T20I between Team India and Sri Lanka which will take place in Lucknow on February 24. However, Team India are going to take on Sri Lanka after having won the series 3-0 against West Indies.

Deepak Hooda

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra predicted the Indian openers will outscore their Sri Lankan counterparts.  He said: “Indian openers will score more runs than Sri Lankan openers although it is possible Rohit Sharma might not be seen opening. In the opposing team, Pathum Nissanka is batting really well. Kusal Mendis has also come after scoring runs in the last match, so their openers might be looking better than ours.”

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Aakash Chopra reasoned: “Whoever wins the toss will bowl first. The reason for that is it is the Lucknow ground, winter months, I am saying dew will start coming from the first innings itself. The team batting second will not have too much benefit but a slight benefit will definitely be there because the ball will get extremely wet in the end. One team to start the bowling with spin. I feel Sri Lanka will start the bowling with spin, with Maheesh Theekshana, there is a strong possibility. And I am saying India will win. They will not win easily but they will win is what I feel.”

Aakash Chopra has also picked his preferred Indian playing XI for the first T20I against Sri Lanka. He revealed: “You don’t have Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. I would propose to open with Ishan Kishan alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad. You are thinking why not Sanju Samson? I am thinking if you have started playing Ishan Kishan, let’s end that story, it could be a beautiful ending as well.”

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja

While asking if Rohit Sharma should bat at No. 3, the veteran cricketer-turned-commentator named Deepak Hooda ahead of Sanju Samson. He stated that with this, they will get an additional bowling option.

Aakash Chopra explained: “Rohit can bat at No. 3. Ruturaj Gaikwad, you give him three opportunities as well. At No. 4, I am saying Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Hooda at No. 5 and not Sanju Samson. It is for the simple reason that why will you play Sanju Samson at No. 5, he is a top-order batter. At No. 6, I will keep Venkatesh Iyer.”

However, Aakash Chopra picked Ravindra Jadeja and Harshal Patel as his first two bowlers as well. He also chose Yuzvendra Chahal ahead of Ravi Bishnoi as the specialist spinner as well.

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He elaborated: “After that, I have picked Ravindra Jadeja at No. 7. Welcome Jadeja with applause because we will see him play after a long time. Then Harshal Patel, I will 100% pick Harshal Patel, now Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are also not there. After that, I am saying Yuzi Chahal. There is actually a toss-up between Chahal and Bishnoi but I will go with Chahal. Bumrah and Bhuvi – I will play both of them. Siraj and Avesh will have to wait.”

Aakash Chopra’s Indian XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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