Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener turned commentator, mentioned that Hardik Pandya should bat higher up in the batting order in 2nd T20I against Australia to utilize his form.
He made the observation while previewing the second T20I against Australia in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra: India Face Selection Dilemma With T20I And Tour Match Being Played Simultaneously
He started that India have a selection dilemma with two matches played simultaneously at the same time at Sydney. India A comprising of test regulars will take on Australian A while India comprising of limited-overs specialist will battle it out against Australians without David Warner who is out injured.
“India have a problem that two matches are being played at the same time. This T20I will be played in Sydney and a warm-up match will also be played in Sydney, India A vs Australia A. This is not just the overlapping of fixtures but quite a few of our T20I players are also there in the Test team.”
But he felt that T20 specialists will not play the warm-up game as the likes of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami alongside Shreyas Iyer will feature in a T20I match.
“There are as many as two side games, so I feel the T20 players will not be going anywhere. Rahul, Kohli, Bumrah and Shami are all going to remain here only. We don’t know if Shreyas Iyer is here or there. But whoever is here is going to remain here.”
Aakash Chopra felt that only one change is necessary with respect to the first T20I with concussion substitute in first T20I spinner Yuzvendra Chahal coming in place of injured Ravindra Jadeja in playing XI.
“There is the scope of only one change, which already happened in the first match. I feel the same XI will play now, the one which played in the second innings of the Canberra T20I. Chahal will come in Jadeja’s place and the rest of the team will remain the same.”
The India A team saw the likes of Ajinkya Rahane scoring a century while Cheteshwar Pujara scored 54 as India A scraped through scoring above 200 on the first day. James Pattinson took 3 wickets so far as India lost 7 wickets so far in the 3-day Practice Game.
Aakash Chopra: Hardik Pandya Should Bat Higher And India Will Not Be Benefitted If He Bats At No, 6
He added that Hardik Pandya should bat higher up the batting order but it may do injustice to the likes of Sanju Samson or Manish Pandey who prefers to bat higher as they haven’t played much cricket in Australia.
“But Hardik at No.6, that’s the question. I want him to bat at No.5 but you will be doing injustice to whoever bats at No.6, whether it is Manish Pandey or Sanju Samson.”
The former KKR batsman was of the reason that India will not be benefitted if in form Hardik Pandya bats at No. 6.
“It’s not ideal but if you send Hardik at No.6, that is actually detrimental and counter-productive because you have got a player who has got form and you are not sending him up the order.”
Aakash Chopra felt India can play anyone out of pacers Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami. The latter played the first T20I but was not economical.
“India can also play any one out of Bumrah and Shami.”
Aakash Chopra suggested that India should bat first if they win the toss as it will be difficult to chase a stiff target.
“I feel India should win the toss and bat first, the way their story is going, as their batting is looking slightly weaker. We have also seen the Kangaroos wilting under pressure.”
The fact that Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer were not fielded alongside Jasprit Bumrah in the tour match will make it interesting to see whether the top 6 batsmen are retained in 2nd T20I.