‘I am going slightly radical’’: Aakash Chopra leaves out Shreyas Iyer from his playing XI for first T20I
India and Australia will be playing the first T20 international of the three-match series on Friday in Canberra. After a battle in the 50-over format, the focus now shifts to T20s where both teams would be looking to gain the momentum ahead of the crucial Test series. Team India lost the ODI series 1-2 after a lacklustre display by the bowlers in the first two One Day Internationals.
They made some changes for the final ODI in Canberra and the gamble paid off as India won the match by 13 runs. Now it is also likely that the team management could again make some changes for the first T20I.
Former India batsman Aakash Chopra picked his starting 11 for the crucial match. He decided to leave out Shreyas Iyer from the team and start KL Rahul as an opener along with Shikhar Dhawan.
“All the batsmen India has, whether it is Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul or Virat Kohli - they all bat in the Top 3 in the IPL. So, India needs to figure out who will bat from No.4 to No.6,” Chopra said in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
“I am going slightly radical while picking the playing XI. I want KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as openers and Virat Kohli at No.3.”
“I am going with Manish Pandey at No.4. I have not picked Shreyas Iyer, I have picked Manish Pandey because I feel Iyer will be a part of the Test team as well but Pandeyji will come back without playing a match. That is not right.”
“I could have kept Sanju Samson as well at No.4 but I will have to play Pandeyji ahead of Sanju because in terms of hierarchy, he was selected first and played first and he gets fewer chances.”
“At No.5, I am playing Hardik with Jaddu at No.6. So, I get six bowling options. I am giving a bit of batting responsibility to Jaddu.”
“After that my five bowlers - I will play one out of Bumrah and Shami, then Deepak Chahar, Natarajan, Chahal, and Washington Sundar.”
“Washington Sundar will be my No.7 batsman, so that will be my playing XI.”
It remains to be seen how India turns up at the Manuka Oval. Bumrah could be rested for the match as Shami was given a break in the last ODI.
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