Ahead of the 1st ODI between India and England on Tuesday, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has reckoned that chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav should get an opportunity to play in the ODI matches at least.
Notably, Kuldeep Yadav has time and again missed out on a berth in playing XI despite travelling with the team consistently. He played one out the 4 Test matches against England but did not get a place in the squad for T20I series.
“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,” Aakash Chopra said.
Can India fit both KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant in the team?
Further, the former opener opined that Shreyas Iyer will bat at number four for India before asking if both KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant could get a go in Tuesday’s match.
“Shreyas Iyer will be batting at No.4. The big question will be if you can fit both KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant in the team. Do it if possible but if not, don’t really feel bad about it. But for me the one objective is to win the series,” Aakash Chopra added.
KL Rahul is going through a lean patch and failed on all the four chances he got against England in the T20I series. He registered scores of 1, 0, 0 and 14. Rishabh Pant, on the hand, has been in sublime form in the recent few months.
However, Virat Kohli backed and defended KL Rahul during the press conference ahead of the series opener.
“Kuch toh log kahenge logo ka kaam hai kehna, chhodo bekar ki baato me kahi beet na jae rehna (People will say something because it’s their job, let’s not pay heed to useless things and stop living our lives).
“There’s a lot of impatience outside the cricket setup, and everyone has a point of view. Some people form an opinion on what the player is thinking, and that becomes a judgment.
“When a player is down, some people enjoy having their fun at his expense and further pulling him down.
“As part of team management, we know how to manage this. Personally, the player suffers from a bit of a difficult phase. It’s not like he forgets how to play. It becomes a question of mental clarity, which takes a bit of a toll.
“All these outside talks are rubbish. From the start of my career till date, all these talks outside have remained rubbish for me.
“Why does one say something? What agenda does the person have? For what a premise is being set?
“We don’t even let these thoughts enter the team, and even in the future, we will continue to do so. At the same time, we will continue to back our players and try and provide a good mental space for them,” Kohli said on the eve of the ODI series.