Aakash Chopra backs ace India pacer for South Africa Tests

Former cricketer Aakash Chopra opined that the Indian team consider Bhuvneshwar’s case for the South African tour, stating that the latter’s inclusion would not be based on his performances in Sri Lanka.
File image of Aakash Chopra(Aakash Chopra/Instagram)
File image of Aakash Chopra(Aakash Chopra/Instagram)
Updated on Jul 11, 2021 05:38 PM IST
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Team India will soon be touring South Africa to play a Test series and former cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who missed the flight to England, could be a good option to consider.

India’s defeat against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final raised a few questions over Bhuvneshwar’s absence in the England tour. Besides Bhuvneshwar, Hardik Pandya is another player who hasn’t been a regular face in the Indian Test setup. His back injury has held him back from bowling full throttle and kept him away from the longest format as well.

Both Bhuvneshwar and Hardik will be seen in action against Sri Lanka in a limited-overs series that begins from July 18 in Colombo. Meanwhile, Chopra was asked a fan if good performances in the upcoming series could earn them spots in the Indian Test team.

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While answering the question in his latest YouTube video, Chopra said, “You did not leave Bhuvneshwar Kumar out because there was an issue with his fitness. There were reports that he doesn't want to play Tests but he denied that and said that he wants to play.”

“Hardik Pandya has made it very clear that he is not going to bowl in Test cricket at this point. Hardik's name will not come in Tests unless he bowls, that thing is almost written in stone although he has a Test century as well. But then if he is not bowling, you won't play him, you will play a proper batsman, maybe a Hanuma Vihari or someone else,” he added.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also opined that the Indian team consider Bhuvneshwar’s case for the South African tour, stating that the latter’s inclusion would not be based on his performances in Sri Lanka.

“If we talk about Bhuvneshwar and see where the next tours are, I will once again have him in my thoughts for South Africa. Before that, the matches that are there in India, you won’t play him in those. You could have probably taken him to England but you didn’t,” Chopra said.

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“Next is South Africa, I will definitely have him in my thoughts, whether he does well here or not. He will do well, but just in case he doesn't, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's calibre, pedigree and talent are not dependent on a few games. If you have to get him, it is a strategical and tactical decision, which you can definitely make,” he signed off.

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Thursday, January 20, 2022