Aakash Chopra believes that India’s players should not take a break during ODIs but if they want to take a break then it should be during the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) or T20Is if required. However, Team India will face Bangladesh in the final ODI of the three-match series in Chattogram on Saturday, December 10 but it will be a dead rubber as the hosts have already won the series.
However, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra shared that players taking too many breaks is one of the main reasons for India’s poor performances in recent times. He said:
“The first thing I understand is that too much rest is happening. In the last one to one-and-a-half years, too many players have taken a lot of rest many times. If you want rest take it in the IPL or T20I cricket but not in ODI cricket because this is the World Cup year.”
The former Indian opener further shared: “If you don’t play cricket together continuously, there is a question if you are able to prepare properly. This is not only with us, it happens with everyone. If you look at Australia, they said there was tiredness ahead of the World Cup, so they won’t play the full team, they couldn’t even qualify for the semi-finals.”
However, Aakash Chopra also stated that most of India’s top players did not play the ODI series against Zimbabwe prior to the Asia Cup as well. It is also noteworthy that, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were given a break for the Zimbabwe tour before the Asia Cup. KL Rahul, who was not picked for the first time for the ODIs against Zimbabwe due to injury, was eventually added to the squad and was even made the captain after his recovery, but he did not have a good series.
“This has not happened once, this is happening repeatedly” – Aakash Chopra
He shared: “When we went to play the Asia Cup, our main players were coming out of the cold, they had not played cricket at all, everyone had taken a break. No one had gone to Zimbabwe – Rohit, Rahul and Kohli – none of our top three went.”
Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra further added that Team India’s main players, unlike their New Zealand counterparts, was given rests after their semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup. And, he feels that India’s full-strength ODI team needs to play consistently now as well.
“This has not happened once, this is happening repeatedly. Your World Cup campaign was not great, we played only six matches in the six weeks we were in Australia, but we still did not go to New Zealand. New Zealand also played as many matches, because they also lost in the semi-finals, but their entire team played. Now the 50-over World Cup is coming, you have 10 ODIs till the IPL, India’s A (best) team should play all those ODIs. Everyone who is fit and available should play. If we are serious about the 2023 World Cup, play the entire team wherever ODI cricket is happening, let’s not miss games,” Aakash Chopra concluded.