Following Team India’s loss in the ODI series against Bangladesh, questions were raised regarding the out-of-form players and the team combination. The ODI World Cup is scheduled to take place in India itself next year, hence fans have high expectations from the Men in Blue to win an ICC trophy. Notably, the last time India won the coveted title was back in 2013 when the MS Dhoni-led side had defeated England to grab the Champions Trophy.
India lost the first two ODIs before bouncing back and thrashing Bangladesh in the final match to end the series positively. Ishan Kishan smashed a mind-boggling double hundred, while Virat Kohli scored his 44th century in the format.
After the series, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra picked his ideal XI of the team with some notable exlusions. Chopra picked Kishan and Rohit Sharma to open, followed by Kohli and Shreyas Iyer and number three and four, respectively. The cricketer-turned-commentator didn’t name Shikhar Dhawan, the regular opener of India in the ODIs. Chopra reasoned that Kishan can not be dropped after hitting a double century.
Chopra further picked KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya at number five and six, respectively, stating Rahul should bat ahead of Suryakumar Yadav. The Pune-born batter hasn’t been able to replicate the success in ODIs, scoring 384 runs at a below-par average of 32 in 15 matches.
“An opener along with Rohit Sharma. Who will that be – I don’t know. I think Ishan Kishan is now stealing a march, you cannot drop him after a double hundred. So Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, Kohli at No. 3 and Iyer at No. 4. I will definitely not drop Iyer,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
“Hardik will come at No. 6, but Rahul will play ahead of SKY (Suryakumar Yadav), so Rahul will play at No. 5, sorry SKY. SKY and Shikhar are both in the squad but are not playing,” he added.
Chopra went with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj as his two specialist pacers and Washington Sundar as a spin all-rounder. He mentioned to pick Axar Patel only if Ravindra Jadeja is not fit and had a toss-up between Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
“Jasprit Bumrah will be in my team, Mohammed Siraj will be in my team. Washington Sundar and then whoever is fit between Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja. If Jadeja is fit, then Jaddu. I will definitely keep one of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal in the squad,” Chopra added further.
Aakash Chopra’s ideal India ODI XI:
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel/Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.