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Aakash Chopra names his Indian XI for 1st Test vs South Africa
By SMCS - Dec 26, 2023 10:00 am
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra doesn’t see Ravichandran Ashwin playing in India’s first Test against South Africa. The first match of the two-match Test series will be played in Centurion from Tuesday (26 December). The Indian think-tank might have to choose two among Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur for the playing XI as well.

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In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra picked Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal as his openers as well. He said, “Rohit Sharma will be seen playing as an opener for the first time in South Africa. Yashasvi Jaiswal will be there along with him. His career has started very well but it needs to be seen how he plays going forward – there is a massive difference between the conditions in West Indies and South Africa.”

While choosing Shubman Gill to play at No. 3, he added that the talented batter is yet to deliver to his potential in Test cricket as well. Chopra also picked Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul to complete the top six as well.

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He said: “You will see Shubman Gill at No. 3. It is the first series (in a long time) in South Africa where you neither have Cheteshwar Pujara nor Ajinkya Rahane. So big shoes to fill there. I think Shubman Gill still has a lot to prove in overseas conditions, especially as a Test cricketer. Kohli will be seen at No. 4. I think the team have made up their mind that they will play Shreyas Iyer at No. 5 and KL Rahul at No. 6 as a proper keeper. Shreyas Iyer – his first Test match in South Africa, it’s going to be tough.”

Team India
Team India

However, Aakash Chopra also picked Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna as four of the bowlers in India’s five-bowler attack.

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“When I look towards the bowling, I feel Jadeja will be the only spinner. Mohammed Shami is not there and his absence will be felt because Mohammed Shami, the wicket-taker, has been performing very well. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna, and the fourth needs to be an all-rounder,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “I am going towards Shardul Thakur. So a place might not get created for Ravichandran Ashwin in this match because you want a fast-bowling all-rounder and Shardul had performed well last time in these conditions. So you might see Lord Thakur playing.”

Aakash Chopra’s Indian XI for the 1st Test: Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna