Chopra makes bold prediction for senior duo, underlines 'transition' in cricket | Crickit
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'Probably won't hear their names again': Chopra makes bold prediction for senior duo, underlines 'transition' in cricket

By, New Delhi
Feb 20, 2022 03:52 PM IST

Rohit Sharma was officially named the skipper of the red-ball team as the BCCI announced India's squad for the impending two-match series against Sri Lanka, beginning March 4.

Rohit Sharma, who had replaced Virat Kohli as white-ball captain a couple of months ago, will be now seen leading the Indian team in Test cricket as well. The 34-year-old Rohit was officially named the skipper of the red-ball team as the BCCI announced India's squad for the impending two-match series against Sri Lanka, beginning March 4.

From left, India's Rishabh Pant, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha. (AP)
From left, India's Rishabh Pant, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha. (AP)

The Indian camp will also be without Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, who were axed from the Test format after a string of poor batting performances. While the focus remained on the senior pair, the selectors ignoring Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma rings alarm bells over their career, given the fact that they are well past their prime.

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Saha was part of the India squad in the three-Test away series in South Africa but didn't feature in the starting eleven. And, Rishabh Pant's place in the grand scheme of things piles further misery on Saha. Ishant's case is no different. He may have played over 100 Test matches of the country but the current pool of fast bowlers and competition in the mix act as hurdles in injury-plagued Ishant's career.

Former India batter Aakash Chopra has also reacted to Saha and Ishant's oust from the team composition, saying the Indian fans "probably won't hear their names again". Every team goes through a transition irrespective of the format and Chopra feels the move hints towards a new phase after the entry of Rohit and Rahul Dravid in the lead bunch.

"Neither Wriddhiman Saha has found a mention, nor Ishant Sharma. You probably won't hear their names again. This is where the transition is headed. This is the 'eventual' transition we've been talking about. When Rahul Dravid took over as the head coach and Rohit Sharma took over as captain, they didn't try to shake things up much and let it all be. Now, after four months, it's quite apparent in which direction will Team India go. They've made it totally clear that there isn't any place for some people," said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

Saha claimed Ganguly promised to look after him following his 61 in a New Zealand Test, further adding that he isn't unable to understand "why everything changed so fast". Saha also said that he was told he wouldn't be “considered henceforth” by the team management and Dravid suggested him to ponder "retirement" as well.

Chopra, the cricketer-turned-commentator, also reacted to the ouster of Pujara-Rahane and predicted that the seasoned pair still has a chance to make a return to the Test contingent. Pujara scored 91 just a day after being dropped from the Test squad. Rahane also hit a ton against Saurashtra earlier this week.

"Rahane's just hit a century. And he's not 38 right. Nor is Pujara 38. It's not the end of the road. It's not written in stone that they can't play for India again. I'm actually hopeful Rahane and Pujara will find their way back. The issue was they were playing only international cricket for the last two years and weren't even getting a chance to find their form back in first-class cricket. Now they have got that chance to make runs and once again knock at the door and break the door down," Chopra further elaborated.

"I won't say the same for Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma because Ishant Sharma played over 100 Tests so it was that kind of a phase. Saha is also 36-37 so that's it. So we might not see them playing for India again. But Pujara and Rahane - there's a strong chance they might just make it back."

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