Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra wants India to go with Axar Patel in their playing XI for their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against Bangladesh. The two teams will take on each other at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday, September 15. Axar played an important 26-run knock in India’s win against Sri Lanka but he failed to claim a wicket and conceded 29 runs in his five-over spell on a spin-friendly surface as well.
While previewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra added: “Firstly, the pitch looked to be assisting spin even in the Pakistan match yesterday, so play Axar Patel and see how he is bowling because he has scored runs but hasn’t picked up wickets. It won’t work out without picking up wickets. So to take wickets, I will say get him there, make him bowl. This is the match where you can get him to bowl. By the way, left-handers will come in front of him, but no problem, you give him bowling.”
However, the selectors have picked Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as the two spin-bowling all-rounders in India’s provisional 15-member World Cup squad as well. And, Aakash Chopra also wants Mohammed Shami to replace Jasprit Bumrah in India’s bowling lineup as well.
He said: “Who should Mohammed Shami play for? Play Shami in place of Bumrah. Although Bumrah hasn’t bowled too much, he is bowling decently. Based on however much he has bowled, the guy is looking absolutely fit and in total rhythm. He twisted his ankle in the last match and I said – ‘No, what are you doing? Our country’s heartbeats are attached to your ankle’. Touchwood, it wasn’t too much of a problem. Even if it is a slight problem, I wouldn’t take a chance because you have to play the day after tomorrow (Sunday) again.”
Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra also feels India need to play Suryakumar Yadav in their inconsequential Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against Bangladesh as well. They will take on Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday, September 15.
Chopra again said: “Can Suryakumar Yadav be played? I will say he should be played as well. Suryakumar Yadav should be played because when will you play him if you don’t play him now? The fact is he hasn’t yet cracked the ODI template. He hasn’t been able to catch the pulse of ODI cricket. So if he hasn’t been able to do that and you don’t play him now also and in the three ODIs against Australia as well, when will you play him? Then you don’t get prepared fully as you will say that your 14 are certain but you have taken the 15th on gut feeling, potential and promise.”
However, Aakash Chopra also wants Ishan Kishan to make way for Suryakumar Yadav as well.
“So I will say, you should play him, but your question will be in place of whom because Virat (assuming Shreyas plays in his place) has already sat out. So I will say play him in place of Ishan Kishan. You will ask why Ishan Kishan and not KL Rahul. It is because I believe the Indian team is not at all looking at Ishan Kishan as the frontline keeper as KL Rahul is keeping when he is playing. If Ishan Kishan had worn the wicketkeeping gloves, I would have asked him to be played and Rahul to be rested,” Aakash Chopra concluded.