Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra was surprised to see the selection of Priyank Panchal ahead of Abhimanyu Easwaran as Rohit Sharma’s replacement for the upcoming South Africa tour. Notably, Sharma has been ruled out of the Test series due to a hamstring injury. The selectors chose Panchal as his replacement.
While talking about the development in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said that the selectors seem to be playing a game of musical chairs while selecting players.
“Abhimanyu Easwaran had gone to England. He was a part of the Indian team and was kept as the backup opener. But now he is not the backup opener. It is like Akkad bakkad bambe bo – that’s the feeling that you get because there is no clarity,” he elaborated.
NEWS – Priyank Panchal replaces injured Rohit Sharma in India's Test squad.
Rohit sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session here in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa.#SAvIND | @PKpanchal9 pic.twitter.com/b8VgoN52LW
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 13, 2021
“There is a twist in the story, that begs a question to be asked that what is happening in this world? Now it seems Priyank Panchal is the backup opener, which is surprising,” he continued.
However, Priyank Panchal had led the India A team in the first two matches of the recently concluded unofficial Test series against South Africa A. He smashed 120 runs in the three innings where he had played, with the top score of 96 as well. And, the veteran believed that Panchal has not been selected out of the blue. He explained:
“Let me be honest, Priyank Panchal is not a bad choice – in fact when you saw Rohit Sharma playing as a Test opener, then also there was supposed to be a choice Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran but then Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri thought of opening with Rohit. Rohit started to open and Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran didn’t get a chance at all.”
“Jayant Yadav is in the side although Washington Sundar has started playing” – Aakash Chopra
He also questioned the selectors for picking Jayant Yadav ahead of the young all-rounder Washington Sundar. Sundar has just returned to competitive cricket where he has been playing for Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“Jayant Yadav is in the side although Washington Sundar has started playing but no one is talking about him, because Washington Sundar was the guy when you were celebrating the Gabba victory. He had made runs there and took wickets as well and did well in India also after that but he is not on the radar at all,” Aakash Chopra concluded.