Former cricketer-turned-veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has disagreed with suggestions that the experienced trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli should be dropped from the shortest format. Chopra added that the team will need their experience at the T20 World Cup in Australia, especially against top teams as well.
In a Q&A session on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “I don’t agree with the suggestion that they should be dropped for the T20 World Cup. On the contrary, they should play and setup the games. We have big matches against Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh. We are in a tough group. All three should play and do well.”
He continued: “We might feel Hooda is an all-rounder, but if he is not being made to bowl, it means the team doesn’t see him as an all-rounder. A similar thing happened with Venkatesh Iyer after the World Cup last year. He was batting at 6-7, but was not bowling at all. I agree that if Hooda wasn’t going to bowl, DK should have played. He was picked as a designated finisher after all.”
He also revealed the chat he had with Pakistan legends Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis over young Indian fast bowler Umran Malik. Chopra added that both the former Pakistan pacers wanted to see Umran on the side, but he disagreed with their views as well. However, the young fast-bowler came into the Indian team after an impressive Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, where he bowled in excess of 150 kmph a number of times as well while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), claiming 22 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 20.18.
“A lot of people are talking about extra pace. Both Wasim bhai and Waqar bhai have been telling me, ‘woh Umran Malik ko leke aayo yaar’. I told them he is not in the scheme of things at present. According to me, you cannot field an absolute rookie in a World Cup. Umran Malik played a couple of games and then was dropped. I had reservations about that. Either they should have given him a longer run or should not have picked him at all in the first place. I feel it would have been better if his international debut was held back. But they played him and dropped him after a handful of games,” Aakash Chopra concluded.