Former Indian cricketer-turned-veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels that India will not need the services of three spinners on a surface at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. Moreover, rain in Delhi makes it more suitable for seam bowlers to exploit. However, Shahbaz Ahmed and Washington Sundar played in the seven-wicket win in the second game in Ranchi a few days back. But, with the venue in Delhi having small boundaries and not much turn, there is a chance that one of them might be dropped as well.
Chopra said on his YouTube channel: “Now since there are no more pacers in the Indian squad. India might consider playing an extra batter in place of a spinner. I don’t think there will be much help for the spinners, so dropping a spinner would leave the team with only five bowlers, but still. Since there are plenty of left-handed batters in the South African side, I would play Washington Sundar and drop Shahbaz Ahmed.”
Shahbaz Ahmed had a good outing on debut after finishing with figures of 1-54 off his 10 overs. Sundar, on the other hand, came as a replacement for Deepak Chahar, who continues to struggle with a back injury as well. India will take on South Africa in the final match on Tuesday, October 11 with the series currently level at 1-1. He also feels opening batters Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill will be tested as well.
Aakash Chopra explained: “Wayne Parnell has trapped Shikhar Dhawan with some tight lines in this series. I would bring Ruturaj Gaikwad in for Shahbaz Ahmed and play him at No.3. When Temba Bavuma was not playing, the South African team looked more balanced. With the way their batters are playing, there does not seem to be a place for Temba Bavuma.”
Chopra said: “India’s problem is with the top order at the moment. Delhi is a small venue, the pitch has been under covers for a while now. The venue has been drenched due to persistent rain, so there will be an undercooked pitch with moisture available for the bowlers to exploit. Almost a surface similar to what we saw in Lucknow a few days back.”
Backing Shreyas Iyer to score well in the series decider, Aakash Chopra concluded: “There are a lot of must-win matches in a three-match series. The series is always almost on the line. The young Indian side bounced back well in the last contest. Shreyas Iyer is looking fabulous in ODI cricket, he is dominating the format and he has what it takes. He is consistently making his case for the 2023 ODI World Cup.”