Aakash Chopra opines on whether India should play Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in 3rd ODI
By SMCS - Aug 1, 2023 11:30 am
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels India should continue giving the rest to Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the third ODI against the West Indies if they are thinking about the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup. However, the duo has been rested in the second game where India lost badly. However, the final ODI of the three-match series will be played in Tarouba, Trinidad, on Tuesday, August 1 as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “They are saying they are experimenting keeping the Asia Cup and the World Cup in mind and the availability of players or the lack of it, then Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli cannot play today. Then you will have to put the series on the line today. You will have to say it’s alright, that you are not happy but okay to lose.”

He further added that Axar Patel should be persisted with at No. 4 and they should bat first if they win the toss. He again added: “So neither Rohit nor Kohli in this team and go with the same batting order. Then play Axar at No. 4, because you would have played him with some thinking, and bat first after winning the toss, so that you put a little more pressure on your players.”

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However, Aakash Chopra was unsure whether Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be rested as well. He also said that the veteran duo wouldn’t have been selected or wouldn’t have played the first game if experimentation was the sole purpose of the series

“However, can that happen? I am not 100% certain. The Indian team might suddenly think here that they need to win the series because there have been 12 unbeaten series (against the West Indies) and what if they lose here? When you get such thoughts, then questions will be raised again. I hope we don’t discuss this later but that can happen. I am not ruling that out because the players were selected and the seniors played the first match. So why not today? We shall find out.”

rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

However, Aakash Chopra also shared his views on India’s playing XI for the third ODI against West Indies. He suggested that if India wants to win the series, they should bring Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back as well.

“That’ll also mean the end of giving opportunities to someone like Sanju Samson or Suryakumar Yadav, one of the two will have to sit out. Axar Patel won’t get another opportunity,” Chopra said on JioCinema. “If you were to look at the series for experiments, why stop? If you’re going in with the philosophy that ‘I am going to try a lot of cricketers, I’m going to give chances to the players who haven’t gotten enough game time.’ Why change? You’ve done it in the first game, you’ve done it in the second game. Just give more opportunities to the players who haven’t gotten enough in the past.”

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During the same show, he also highlighted that India are playing too many bowlers on a wicket that is difficult for batting as well. While talking about how the bowlers are not getting equal chances to prove themselves, he added:

“India has a lot of bowling options. With regards to fast bowlers, they have four. They played as many as three in the previous game. You don’t need seven options to play in an ODI on a surface that’s bowler-friendly,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “Umran Malik bowled just three overs in the first and second games, and Axar Patel bowled only two overs in the previous game. Where you’re not able to give enough overs to the bowlers you’re picking, cut down on the resources and maybe play an extra batter.”