The excitement concerning the upcoming four-match Test series between India and England is building up day by day. The first Test is scheduled to begin from February 05 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
This will be India’s first-ever international series at home ever since the novel coronavirus shook the world. England’s last tour to India came during 2016-17 series when the visitors faced a 4-0 whitewash.
The fans are eagerly waiting for the series opener, especially after India’s recent performance in the Border-Gavaskar series down under.
India’s bench strength showed what it is capable of in Australia. Keeping this in mind, the biggest question arises now is what could be the best team combination for Virat Kohli and Co. in the upcoming Chennai Test.
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has shared his playing XI of Team India for the first Test. Chopra has picked Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill as openers. Shubman impressed everyone in the Australian tour with his composure and positive batting. On the other hand, Rohit only played the last two matches but showed how he could turn the game on its head.
The cricketer-turned-commentator then picked the middle and lower order. He went with Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane for number three, four and five respectively, followed by Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar.
“In the playing XI, you can play the same five batsmen – Gill, Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane. You can keep Rishabh Pant at No.6 and Washington Sundar at No.7, with Ravichandran Ashwin at No.8. So you have batting till No.8,” said Chopra as quoted by Times Now.
Chopra leaves out Mohammed Siraj
Chopra went with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma as two pacers, and he also picked Kuldeep Yadav as the third spinner in the team. The former Delhi opener reckoned that India should play three spinners for the first Test.
“According to me, he (Kuldeep) will play because Jadeja is not there, and you will play at least two spinners in India. At this point, I feel you can play three,” added Chopra.
Surprisingly, Chopra did not pick Mohammed Siraj, who was the leading wicket-taker for India in the 4-match Test series against Australia. The 43-year-old also left Hardik Pandya out from the playing XI for the first Test against England.
Here is Aakash Chopra’s playing XI for the first Test against England:
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.