Former India player turned commentator Aakash Chopra said that Umran Malik could have bowled more overs in the first ODI between India and the West Indies. However, Umran went wicketless and gave away 17 runs in three overs as India bowled out the Windies for 114. Later, India chased down the target with five wickets and 27.1 overs to spare as well.
While reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Umran Malik – a box that should have been ticked is not ticked. You have kept this fast bowler, done a slightly left-field selection because he wasn’t with the team for the last little while and his IPL was also extremely middling, but you haven’t kept him in the Asian Games.”
However, Aakash Chopra feels that the Jammu and Kashmir pacer could have been given another spell towards the end of the West Indies innings as well.
He added: “You are thinking that if Bumrah doesn’t get fit and even if he gets fit, you have got an express pacer. You kept him but bowled him only three overs. He didn’t pick up a wicket. There was probably an opportunity for him to come and pick up two or three wickets in the end but you didn’t go towards him.”
However, Umran Malik was introduced after the powerplay overs and he was given only a three-over spell. With the pitch helping the spinners and Ravindra Jadeja picking up three wickets from the other end, he was soon replaced by Kuldeep Yadav, who returned with a spell of 4/6 later as well. Aakash Chopra also opined that Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness was also supposed to be tested in the ODI series.
He added: “There were questions about whether Hardik will bowl. If we see from the World Cup perspective, it seems like Hardik Pandya should bowl six to eight overs. If he can do that, the team’s balance will become good. Then you can go with two fast bowlers, especially if you are playing in Lucknow or Chennai, where you will need more spin.”
“He picked up a wicket as well, dismissed Kyle Mayers, and was bowling decently too, but he bowled only three overs. Whether he bowls three overs here or in the IPL – he was doing that. So in my opinion, it was not a major discovery, that can Hardik Pandya bowl six to seven overs?,” Aakash Chopra concluded.