Aakash Chopra has picked the top-order batters’ inability to bowl as one of Team India’s problem areas but added that the issue cannot be resolved through selection.
The Men in Blue are 2-0 down in the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh. They have been forced to play only five frontline batters in the first two ODIs to have six bowling options in the playing XI.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra picked the lack of batting all-rounders as one of India’s stumbling blocks but added that the problem cannot be rectified, reasoning:
“None of our top five or six bowls, whoever you might play – Shikhar, Shubman, Rohit, Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer – none of them bowl. So this problem is going to stay, you cannot solve it at all.”
Chopra added that the 2011 World Cup champions will have to make do with bowling all-rounders along with Hardik Pandya. The former Indian batter explained:
“At the most, you might play Hardik Pandya, Jaddu (Jadeja) and then Washington Sundar. You will try to balance your all-rounders slightly there, but none of your top five bowls, no one does nor will anyone do at this point in time. You don’t have any player like that.”
Rohit Sharma and Co. would want to have capable batters at No. 7 and No. 8 for next year’s World Cup. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur will likely compete for those positions.
“Are we ready for that?” – Aakash Chopra on teams adopting an ultra-aggressive approach in the World Cup
Chopra also questioned whether India will be ready if next year’s World Cup is played on batting-friendly surfaces, observing:
“The even more important thing is that when the 2023 World Cup happens, it is possible that the pitches are so flat that the other teams come and hit us very hard, suddenly they start playing a different brand of cricket, that they will score 325. Are we ready for that?”
The renowned commentator added that the Men in Blue might have to play aggressively in the World Cup, which they failed to do in this year’s T20 World Cup. He stated:
“Is it time for us to change our brand? In T20s, forget the brand, even the players will be changed. But is it time in ODIs as well that let’s play a slightly more aggressive brand of cricket? There is no doubting the capabilities but do we need to do in ODIs what we couldn’t do in T20s?”
Chopra observed that India should go hammer and tongs and try to score 350 runs if they decide to play with a plethora of bowling all-rounders. He added that another option could be to play five proper bowlers, with probably Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal playing together.
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