Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra doesn’t see Ravichandran Ashwin playing in India’s playing XI for their World Cup 2023 clash against Bangladesh. Both sides will lock horns in Pune on Thursday, October 19. Ashwin was part of the playing XI in their tournament opener against Australia, but Shardul Thakur replaced him in their last two games against Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Will India make a change? I don’t think they will make a change because according to me there is no chance at all to play an extra spinner here. Why would you play Ravichandran Ashwin here? The spinners don’t work here in the IPL and this is a World Cup match. Why would you play another spinner against a subcontinental team? So there won’t be any change in my opinion.”
However, Aakash Chopra doesn’t expect Mohammed Shami to replace Shardul Thakur in the playing XI either. He also added that Bangladesh have an advantage over India since the last World Cup, although he did say that they haven’t played too many times as well.
“You can repeatedly discuss the scope for one change, whether Shami can play in place of Shardul, but that is also not going to happen, because India won’t do that. India need a batter at No. 8. It doesn’t matter whether you or I like it or not,” he again shared. “Bangladesh have won three of the last four matches between the two sides, but only four matches in the four years between 2019 and 2023. We talk about giving chances to associate nations but we are not giving them to a full Test nation. We don’t play much against our neighbor.”
However, he also added that he expects India to register a dominant win if Bangladesh are without Shakib Al Hasan. While India will head into the game on the back of three consecutive wins, Bangladesh have registered just a solitary victory in the tournament so far.
“Shakib Al Hasan’s fitness is concerning. It’s not sure whether he will be available for this match or not. If he is unavailable, the problems will become grave because Shakib Al Hasan is this team’s life. They need his bowling. India’s numbers are not that good against left-arm spin. They need his runs and captaincy. Shakib’s availability might actually be the deal clincher. If Shakib isn’t there, it could become a hugely one-sided encounter,” he stated.
“If we see the top order, the two openers haven’t done that well. Litton Das has played well once. You have lost two of your three matches. Mushfiqur scores runs, he is like a bank, but they are not gaining too much from that because the team is not doing that well collectively. This team has decent fast bowling. You will see Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed. Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s off-spin will not work that much on this pitch and Shakib Al Hasan will bowl defensively, but the three fast bowlers can trouble India,” Aakash Chopra concluded.