The All-India Senior Selection Committee has announced the 18-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against South Africa. Soon after, former cricketer Aakash Chopra picked a likely playing XI, the men in blues are likely to field in shortest formats.
The selectors have announced a 18-member squad for the series, with KL Rahul at the helm in Rohit Sharma’s absence. Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya made a comeback to the squad while Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh earned debut calls.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra pointed out that the team management would have to choose between Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad as Rahul’s opening partner. The cricketer-turned-analyst elaborated:
“What is the composition of the XI you are going to see? I feel you might see Ishan Kishan opening alongside KL Rahul. But there are a lot of keepers, so he might not open, you can open with Ruturaj Gaikwad and not Ishan Kishan, that’s a choice.”
Aakash Chopra picked Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya as the other batters in his lineup. The 44-year-old left out Dinesh Karthik, who returned to India squad on the back of a superlative IPL 2022 campaign.
“I feel Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Hooda should definitely get a place in the XI. After that, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. That makes your middle order ready. Your batting becomes formidable there,” Chopra added.
Aakash Chopra picks Axar Patel ahead of Kuldeep Yadav
The cricket expert picked Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal as his two preferred spinners. The former Indian batter explained:
“After that, you will keep Axar Patel in the team because you want a little depth in the batting. So Axar as a left-arm spinner and a batter. If you play Axar, you will only be able to play Yuzi Chahal.”
Aakash Chopra concluded by saying that India will go ahead with a three-pronged pace attack during the series. He said, “That makes it your two spinners and the team generally goes in with three fast bowlers. The matches are in multiple venues but the truth is that not much cricket has been played anywhere, so you will not get spinning tracks. Although it is going to be very hot, but I don’t think you will get turning tracks in this series.”