Former Indian opener and commentator Aakash Chopra has predicted the winner ahead of India’s pink-ball Test against Sri Lanka. He backed Team India to register a comfortable victory.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Win the toss and bat first. The grass on the pitch is just for show. It is said that the pink ball aids fast bowling. But when I read the pitch report, I realized that nothing like that is likely to happen. The first session will produce the most amount of runs as batting becomes difficult later as the ball moves under lights.”
He further added: “Spinners from both teams will pick up more than 20 wickets. The Indian spinners alone will pick up 15-17 wickets and if they play three spinners, the count can reach 18 as well. I feel India will win the game within four days. As openers, it is a huge opportunity for both Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal. Rohit will need to be careful while playing the hook shot as he will be peppered with bouncers. However, the good thing is that if he attempts the hook, it will go straight into the stands as the ground is small.”
The veteran, however, is also hopeful that Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari will register big scores. He stated: “Mayank Agarwal also got a start but then he didn’t really capitalize. It is important for both openers to do so. Hanuma Vihari will need to convert his fifties into hundreds as the assignments that lie ahead won’t be easy.”
However, he plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL as well and he has played many games there. He also stated how Kohli’s average has gradually fallen in recent years.
Aakash Chopra said: “The crowd is going to come in huge numbers and this is Kohli’s adopted home. So maybe it’s just the right time (to get the 71st hundred). His last hundred had come in the Day-Night Test match against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. Kohli is scoring runs but is failing to get the hundreds. And when that happens, the average starts to drop off. That is exactly what is happening with him for the last couple of years.”
“Shreyas Iyer missed out in the previous game. He will need to understand that the opportunities are limited. Rishabh Pant is promoted to No.5 and you have come down to No.6. If Rishabh scores runs then it’s possible that everyone starts thinking that make him permanent No.5. And if the player after you scores 175 runs then there will be questions asked as to what you have done,” Aakash Chopra concluded.