Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra wants India to play Mohammed Shami before Shardul Thakur in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against Pakistan. Pakistan will square off at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. However, Shardul played ahead of Shami in the group game between the two sides but he didn’t get to bowl as the rain played spoilsports.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “I feel you can definitely make a change in bowling. You can play Mohammed Shami in place of Shardul Thakur, I am comparing the team with the previous India-Pakistan match, so that you have at least three quality fast bowlers. Keep trying to pick up wickets regularly because you cannot beat Pakistan with batting at No. 8. If you have to beat Pakistan, then you need three good fast bowlers so that you consistently be at them.”
With Jasprit Bumrah being unavailable, both Shami and Shardul featured in India’s playing XI for their last game against Nepal. They claimed a wicket apiece, although the latter got to bowl only four overs. Aakash Chopra again feels that the presence of three seamers will make the Indian side more balanced as well.
“Then you can manage with your spinners, (Ravindra) Jadeja and Kuldeep (Yadav), and Hardik Pandya as the fourth seamer. Personally, I like that balance better although the Indian team’s thinking always is that Shardul at No. 8 is non-negotiable, that you need a batter at No. 8 for sure. It is unfortunate that none among (Mohammed) Shami, (Mohammed) Siraj, (Jasprit) Bumrah and Kuldeep bats in a way that will give you confidence at No. 8, but if it’s not there, you can’t do anything. So it will be difficult for the Indian team to judge which way they should go,” Aakash Chopra concluded.