Former cricketer Aakash Chopra has picked India’s playing XI for the first Test against Bangladesh. The two-match series will get underway at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Wednesday, December 14.
India will be without a few senior cricketers due to injuries. Skipper Rohit Sharma will miss the first Test due to a thumb injury, which kept him out of the third ODI against Bangladesh. KL Rahul will lead the side in his absence, while Cheteshwar Pujara has been named as his deputy for this series.
Senior bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja will also miss out due to injuries. It will be a great opportunity for others to stake a claim in the Test side.
Aakash Chopra reckoned that the batting looks sorted, however, there will be concerns about India’s bowling. Speaking in a video shared on his YouTube channel, the cricketer-turned-commentator said:
“There will be questions in the bowling. I feel the batting is sorted because you will see Shubman Gill opening alongside KL Rahul. KL Rahul is of course the captain for this match, Rohit Sharma is not available.”
Aakash Chopra further reckoned that Indian batters should do well in these conditions. He believes wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant should bat at No.5 followed by Shreyas Iyer.
“Cheteshwar Pujara comes at No. 3. After that, Virat Kohli will come at No. 4. I feel the top four should do very well in these conditions. Pant can be at No. 5 and Iyer at No. 6. This is the batting order that I am envisaging,” Chopra added.
“I feel Shardul Thakur has a bright chance of playing” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel will be the two spin-bowling all-rounders in the playing XI for the first Test.
“After that, two all-rounders – Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. I see both of them playing at No. 7 and No. 8. As soon as Test cricket comes, the talk is about Ashwin coming and shining. Axar Patel – it has been some time since he played Test cricket because he has been injured and India have not played many Tests,” he added.
He concluded by saying that Shardul Thakur might come in as the third seamer in the side if India chose to go with a three-pronged pace attack.
“Either you go with three fast bowlers or two fast bowlers and three spinners. The sort of pitch that was there in the ODI, it seems there will be more help for the fast bowlers. Mohammed Siraj will 100% play. In my opinion, Umesh Yadav is confirmed. I feel Shardul Thakur has a bright chance of playing, you also get the all-rounder ability,” he concluded.
Aakash Chopra’s India’s probable XI: KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur/Kuldeep Yadav