Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has named Sai Sudharsan as a probable replacement for star India batter Virat Kohli in the Indian squad for the upcoming first two Tests against England. However, India will face England in a five-match Test series, with the first match taking place in Hyderabad on Thursday, January 25. Kohli has opted out of the Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam Tests for personal reasons as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “The third left-hander that comes to my mind is Sai Sudharsan. It’s a slightly out-of-the-box suggestion but it is not wrong. He scored runs in the IPL final but he is not a one-trick pony either. He scores runs in all three formats. Recently, he scored fifties in his first two ODI innings and scored 90-plus runs against the England Lions as well. He is consistently scoring runs and the clean way in which he plays, it seems like he is made for Test cricket.”
However, Sai Sudharsan amassed 127 runs which came at an average of 63.50 in the three ODIs he played against South Africa last month as well. He has scored 989 runs, including a 97-run knock in India A’s recent match against the England Lions, at an average of 39.56 in 15 first-class games as well. Aakash Chopra also believed Sarfaraz Khan should have been considered for Test cricket long back as well.
“Sarfaraz’s name should logically have come long back. We get so enamored with white-ball cricket that as soon as there is an opening in Tests, we give it to whoever is doing well in white-ball cricket. We did that with SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) against Australia. It was probably Sarfaraz’s turn then. It was wrong that his name didn’t come that time but since then, the performances have been slightly 50-50, although he still has an average of nearly 70 in first-class cricket,” Aakash Chopra concluded.