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Aakash Chopra Shakes Up Team India: Yashasvi Jaiswal Over Abhishek Sharma
By CricShots - Jul 10, 2024 2:57 pm
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As India looks forward to taking on Zimbabwe in the all-important third T20I in Harare, there was one former cricketer turned fiery commentator Aakash Chopra who had his way of stirring the pot, making a few predictions in the lead up to the game. In fact, benching Abhishek Sharma—who logged a century in the last match—for Yashasvi Jaiswal has spiked up a number of reactions on the internet.

Abhishek Sharma
Abhishek Sharma scored his maiden T20I century

It has been a seesaw series of five matches with India losing the first by 13 runs and then winning the second by 100 runs. The latter saw Abhishek Sharma play a breathtaking knock as he clobbered a hundred off just 47 balls. Nevertheless, it is this very performance that could see him being replaced by Jaiswal, feels Chopra.

“Yashasvi’s arrival creates a big question mark over Abhishek Sharma’s place in the team,” Aakash Chopra said during the latest video on his YouTube channel. “It will be a tough call, but there have been precedents. Remember Karun Nair scoring a triple hundred and getting dropped? Or Manoj Tiwary scoring a hundred and being axed? Similar situations have happened before.”

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Aakash Chopra concedes it is all a bit complicated, now. Although Sharma is seen as a future T20 cricket star, Chopra said dropping him would not come as a complete surprise. “It’s not ideal to drop him after a century but with Jaiswal waiting in the wings, it wouldn’t surprise me,” he added.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra

Apart from this probable change at the top, Aakash Chopra expects two more changes in the playing XI. He believes Sanju Samson could replace Dhruv Jurel as the wicketkeeper-batsman since Samson has been a part of the T20 World Cup squad and has the requisite experience. He further expected Shivam Dube to replace Riyan Parag while arguing for Rinku Singh’s inclusion.

“The wicketkeeping change is an easy one,” Aakash Chopra explained. “Dhruv Jurel might make way for Sanju Samson. While they bat at different positions, the World Cup experience of Samson takes precedence.”

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About the middle order, he has no doubt that Shivam Dube is an automatic selection: “Dube’s selection is almost a given,” said the head of ESPN’s Cricket heuristics department. “This could see Riyan Parag dropped from the team as Rinku Singh should get another go after his knock in the last game. He was also a part of the World Cup touring party.”

He also opined on Ruturaj Gaikwad’s position, saying the latter would continue to bat at No. 3. Aakash Chopra stated that the latter is flexible in his role, citing his playing as an opener for India and his leading the team at the Asian Games only recently.