Aakash Chopra Suggests a Change in India’s XI for 2nd ODI

Former India opener Aakash Chopra (Twitter/@cricketaakash)

Former India opener Aakash Chopra (Twitter/@cricketaakash)

Aakash Chopra said that India should not worry much about having a player who can bat at the number 8 position.

Former opener Aakash Chopra suggested a big change in India’s XI for the second ODI match in Visakhapatnam. Skipper Rohit Sharma will return to the XI for the second ODI after missing the series opener due to family commitments. He will be expected to replace Ishan Kishan in the XI as the opening pair of Shubman Gill and Rohit has done exceptionally well for India this year.

However, Chopra feels India should make one more change in the XI as he wants the hosts to play with five specialist bowlers and pick Umran Malik over Shardul Thakur.

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The cricketer-turned-commentator said that India should not worry much about having a player who can bat at the number 8 position.

“Is there any scope for a change other than Rohit Sharma taking Ishan Kishan’s place? My personal opinion – you might call it right or wrong – I always want you to play five full bowlers where you shouldn’t worry about the batting at No. 8,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Play Umran Malik in place of Shardul Thakur. That’s what I feel but the Indian team wants a batter at No. 8 for sure, and I can understand their thinking that sometimes the top-order players get out and you might need batting later,” he added.

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India registered a tricky 5-wicket win over Australia in the series opener to take a crucial 1-0 lead. Shardul didn’t get much to bowl in Mumbai as stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya used him for just two overs.

Chopra asserted that India have to take a call regarding whether they want to have an extra batting option or a pure bowler who can restrict opposition to a low score.

“Even 350-375 runs are scored these days. So you need more batting at times in such situations because all bowlers get hit. This is one way of looking at it. The other way is that a good bowler manages to escape with 55-60 in 10 overs when others are getting hit for 80. So it is up to you in which direction you want to go. The Indian team’s thinking is that they want to keep Shardul at No. 8. I am okay because Lord always contributes. The captain didn’t get him to bowl much in the last match, so he couldn’t do a lot. But if you get him to bowl, he will also pick up wickets.”

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