‘Even MS Dhoni needed Yuvraj Singh’: Aakash Chopra feels India need more than one finisher, says Hardik Pandya alone can’t win matches
Former opening batsman Aakash Chopra reckons the Indian cricket team needs to surround itself with players, especially batsmen, who can play different roles and different positions, saying at the moment, Hardik Pandya alone cannot win them matches all the time. Pandya had a fabulous white-ball leg of India’s tour of Australia, scoring 210 runs from three ODIs and 78 runs from three T20Is.
More recently, Pandya scored a whirlwind 42 off 22 balls to help India chase down a stiff target of 195 in the second game. However, in the third ODI, with 43 needed to win off three, Pandya could not get the job done and perished. Chopra believes India need a player who can support Pandya in the death overs.
“If you look at India’s golden period in white-ball cricket, MS Dhoni had Yuvraj Singh with him. There is no better finisher in the world better than Dhoni, but he too needed someone. You cannot be a finisher all by yourself. And if you have just one – Hardik Pandya the finisher, then roles and responsibilities change a lot,” Chopra said on Cricbuzz.
The Indian cricket team should look for no further than Mumbai Indians for inspiration, where Pandya is supported by Kieron Pollard and both go bit in the final five overs. Having said that Chopra cautioned that the other finisher should be someone apart from Virat Kohli, believing the India captain is better off playing an anchor role.
“As far as Virat Kohli is concerned, if you have five-six batsmen in the team, each one has a different role. Playing anchor suits Kohli the best and I don’t think anyone else in world cricket plays that role better than him,” Chopra added.
“Take any format for example – ODIs and T20Is. It’s just that he needs to find players around him who can perform other roles. He has never scored at 170, never has never will. So don’t consider him Usain Bolt, who will run away with big shots.”