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'I am not 100% convinced that you can play him in the XI against Pakistan': Chopra concerned about India bowler's form

Aakash Chopra reviewed India's performance against England in the first warm-up and expressed concern over the lackluster showing of one India bowler in particular.
R Ashwin (L) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (R) went wicketless while Rahul Chahar (M) grabbed 1 for 43. (Getty)
Published on Oct 19, 2021 01:56 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Reviewing India's performance in their first T20 World Cup warm-up against England on Monday, former batter Aakash Chopra was impressed with the fast-bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Shami picked up 3/40, while Bumrah returned 1/26, castling England's Jonny Bairstow with a fiery yorker. Chopra called Bumrah and Shami India's top two pacers, calling their performance a big positive for Virat Kohli.

"Mohammed Shami did his job and picked wickets, and Bumrah was economical. Mohammed Shami's yorkers are falling in place, but he can also be expensive, but then Bumrah is your No.1 fast bowler, and Mohammed Shami is your second fast bowler. That was a big takeaway," Chopra mentioned on his YouTube channel.

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However, the third India pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, had a pretty forgettable outing, bleeding 54 runs while going wicketless. Chopra doesn't see Bhuvneshwar getting a game against India's T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan and reckons that Shardul Thakur could be a better option as the team's third seam-bowling option.

"Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been expensive. He is not looking a patch of his usual self. He has a lot of experience, but I am not 100% convinced that you can play him in the XI against Pakistan. I will be thinking about Shardul Thakur," added the former India opening batsman.

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The performance of two more India bowlers, R Ashwin and Rahul Chahar, came under the scanner. Even though the veteran off-spinner went wicketless, he was economical, but the same cannot be said about his young leg-spin partner. Chahar conceded 43 wickets and took the wicket of Dawid Malan. As far as the WC tie against Pakistan is concerned, Chopra feels it will be tough for Ashwin to get a game, and backed mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy to be part of India's spin attack.

"Rahul Chahar was very expensive. That means I see Varun Chakravarthy playing the next match and against Pakistan. Ravichandran Ashwin bowled well, bowled off-spin as well in the first couple of overs but will you see him playing as the third spinner if three play," Chopra said.

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