Ahead of the first ODI against England, Aakash Chopra has urged the Indian management to pick the spin duo ‘KulCha’ instead of giving a debut to Krunal Pandya as the second spinner. Chopra also questioned the squad selection, including the omission of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, and Axar Patel.
India would definitely start the series as the favourites, with England fielding a weakened side, with the absence of Joe Root, Jofra Archer, and Chris Woakes. However, ahead of the first ODI, the major question for the hosts - who are the two spinners that would be picked. While Virat Kohli’s trust in Yuzvendra Chahal deteriorated over the T20I series, Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t featured since the Australia tour, which makes Krunal Pandya a favourite to start the series. Cricbuzz reports also suggested that India might give a debut to the trio - Suryakumar, Krunal, Prasidh Krishna - in the first ODI.
However, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra chucked the suggestion out, insisting that India must play the famous duo of ‘KulCha’ together, especially in the 50-over format, where they were successful. The former opener also urged that with Kuldeep not playing in the other formats, ODI should be the format where he should be given a longer rope.
“You can try what you want in fast bowling but in the spin department, you should please play both Kuldeep and Chahal because if you don't play them here also, then what will Kuldeep do. You don't play him in the Tests or T20s, if you don't play him in the ODIs also then what's the point,” said Chopra, reported HT.
India’s squad sees three debutants - Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, and Prasidh Krishna - while not having a place for Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel. Chopra showed his anger over the squad selection adding that India’s selection policies have puzzled him.
“The question that comes to my mind is that if Navdeep Saini was in the T20I team, then why not the ODI team. He didn't play a single match, Deepak Chahar is another name. Axar Patel is in the Test and T20I teams but not in the ODIs, why so?,” asked Aakash Chopra.
While Virat Kohli shut down any kind of doubts over Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan starting as the openers in Pune, Chopra went one up, suggesting that Dhawan should be open in all three games, given he only is picked in the ODI setup now.
“Shikhar Dhawan should definitely open in all three matches in my opinion because he plays only one format now, so you should give him the chance to open,” said Chopra.