Aakash Chopra picks his playing XI for the 1st Test vs Sri Lanka
By SMCS - Mar 3, 2022 12:20 pm
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Former India opener turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his Indian playing XI for the first Test against Sri Lanka starting on March 4 in Mohali. Team India will go without the veteran duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane as they have been dropped, whereas KL Rahul has been ruled out due to an injury as well.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane scored a brilliant century on his Ranji comeback

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Two big slots are vacant because Pujara and Rahane are not there. I doubt Shubman Gill can get a chance at No. 3. He will get it in the longer run. I feel he is a No. 3 player and not an opener. But at this point in time, I think he will have to wait.”

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Chopra again shared: “Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari – quite obvious, you will go with six batters in which one will be Rishabh Pant. I will go with Shreyas at No. 3 but the team might play Hanuma at No. 3. I want to play Shreyas at No. 3, Hanuma stays at No. 5, where he is. So Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer – I am keeping him at No. 3, Virat Kohli at No. 4, I am going with Hanuma Vihari at No. 5 and I am playing Rishabh Pant at No. 6.”

The Indian think tank is expected to prefer Iyer and Vihari prior to Gill for the middle-order spots now. Aakash Chopra wants Team India to play just two spinners in the playing XI.

rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

He reasoned: “At No. 7, I have got Ravindra Jadeja. If Ashwin is available, then Ashwin. If he is not available, then Jayant Yadav. I will go with two spinners only, whether Ashwin is available or not because it will not be a rank turner, it is winter time and the pitch will not crumble in Mohali.”

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“I want to play three fast bowlers which includes Mohammed Shami – welcome back because we have not seen you for a long time, you are being kept slightly away from white-ball cricket but this is your area. Along with him will be Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj,” Aakash Chopra concluded.

Aakash Chopra’s Indian XI for the 1st Test: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj