Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has suggested that India make one change to their playing XI for their ODI World Cup 2023 clash against Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 11 in Delhi: Mohammed Shami in for Ravichandran Ashwin. Chopra believes that Shami’s return to the playing XI will beef up India’s seam-bowling resources and give them more options to attack the Afghan batters.
Aakash Chopra also pointed out that the pitch at the Arun Jaitley Stadium is expected to be flat, which would make Shami’s inclusion even more beneficial. “There is scope for just one change in the entire team and that is you can play Shami in place of Ashwin,” Chopra was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
“Shami took a hat-trick when he last played against this team in a World Cup game but Afghanistan surrendered against the Bangladesh spinners in their last match. So it will be slightly confusing whether they should go with Ashwin because you get batting at No. 8 You will want a lot to play Shami. I will say you should play Shami. Three fast bowlers, two spinners – forget the batter at No. 8,” the former Indian opener turned commentator further continued.
Aakash Chopra noted that the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma are in form, and the track in Delhi is expected to be flat. Therefore, he felt that India could sacrifice Ashwin’s batting abilities lower down the order and bring in Shami.
“(It) does not make a difference. It is such a flat pitch. (KL) Rahul and (Virat) Kohli are in good form. Rohit Sharma is coming on the back of good form. We will actually fire. So let’s go with that, that’s what I feel,” Aakash Chopra concluded.
The only game played thus far in Delhi in the ODI World Cup 2023 was between South Africa and Sri Lanka. Temba Bavuma’s men posted a record-breaking 428 runs and Sri Lanka replied with 326 to lose the high-scoring encounter.
It remains to be seen whether India will take Chopra’s advice and bring in Shami for Ashwin. However, given that Shami is one of India’s most experienced and successful bowlers, it is a suggestion that is worth considering.