‘He doesn’t look the same bowler': Chopra suggests 2 changes in India's XI for New Zealand match
- Talking about India's bowling unit on his YouTube channel, Chopra explained that Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn't the same bowler he used to be and Shami has had more ordinary days in T20 cricket than good days.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that the team management should field a different bowling combination for the next T20 World Cup matches, following their poor performance as a unit in the opener against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.
The bowlers failed to pick a single wicket as the opening pair of captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan stitched an unbeaten and record-breaking 152-run stand to thrash India by 10 wickets. It was Pakistan's first win against India in 13 World Cup meetings.
All the Indian bowlers on Sunday conceded at seven or more runs per over with Mohammed Shami being the most expensive option, registering an economy rate of 11.20.
Talking about India's bowling unit on his YouTube channel, Chopra explained that Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn't the same bowler he used to be and Shami has had more ordinary days in T20 cricket than good days. He also questioned the selection of Ravindra Jadeja, hinting that India might need a more attacking spin option in the middle overs than a defensive option.
"You cannot take the field with this five-bowler combination. There are two ways of looking at this. If you feel you need a sixth-bowling option, then you might want to replace Hardik with Shardul, but that is not a like-for-like replacement. I would rather say play Hardik. But the combination needs to change because Bhuvneshwar is not looking the same bowler. Shami blows hot and cold in theT20s. Jadeja is a four-over bowler, but is not a wicket-taking option. He is not a Rahul Chahar or Yuzvendra Chahal or Rashid Khan," he said.
Chopra, however, backed Varun Chakravarthy, who leaked only 17 runs in his first three overs before being smashed for two sixes in the 16th over.
"Varun Chakravarthy has played little international cricket so let's give him a little time. But is he your go-to bowler? Because when you pick a five-bowler combination, everyone has to be in form and cannot afford to have an ordinary day in the middle. That is why I feel that you have to change this combination. I am not expecting something radical but the lesson learnt (after Pakistan defeat) has been that this combination will not work. So India need to go with a different bowling combination."
India have three other bowling options warming the bench - Chahar, Shardul and Ravichandran Ashwin. The management might look to replace Bhuvneshwar with Shardul which will offer them batting depth as well, but might continue with this spin combination.
India will next play New Zealand on October 31.