Aakash Chopra, a former Team India batsman has opined that the visitors displayed a sense of complacency by making wholesale changes to the team for the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Friday.
India made as many as six changes to the team for the final ODI, handing out debuts to five players. The visitors struggled with the bat after a positive start and ended up losing the match by three wickets.
Aakash Chopra: Complacency Is The Mindset When 6 Changes Are Made
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra stated that Team India, perhaps, took the dead rubber a little too lightly. Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav were the players who were left out of the playing XI with the series already in the bag.
“When you make six changes to your team, complacency is the mindset. It seemed Team India took Sri Lanka a bit lightly in the third ODI, having already won the series. Although the match was important for the debutants, collectively the group seemed to believe that ‘we will win the game easily as Sri Lanka are a weak side.’ But there is a lesson for Team India in the defeat – do not take any opponent lightly.”
India started well after winning the toss and opting to bat first but completely lost their way after the rain break. They were all-out for 225 in 43.1 overs as Akila Dananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets apiece for the hosts. Sri Lanka got home in the rain-curtailed encounter by three wickets courtesy half-centuries from Avishka Fernando (76) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65).
According to Aakash Chopra, India’s tactics for the final ODI lacked planning, the result of which saw Nitish Rana bat at No. 7 on debut instead of his usual top 3 spot.
“India made six changes, included five debutants and changed the entire bowling line-up. Not a single bowler from the previous game played in the third ODI. Also in the batting, India gave a chance to Nitish Rana but he batted at No. 7 on debut. Here is a player who has batted in the Top 3 all his life – whether IPL, Delhi or List A cricket.”
India handed debuts to as many as 5 players in the inconsequential third ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, and Krishnappa Gowtham were handed their maiden ODI caps just before the toss while Navdeep Saini has also been named in the team.
This is only the second time that India is fielding five debutants in an ODI, since their inaugural match. It was in Australia at the MCG in December 1980, when Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Sandeep Patil, and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts.
Aakash Chopra: Resting Kuldeep Yadav And Deepak Chahar Made Little Sense
Aakash Chopra added that ‘resting’ bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar made little sense. He pointed out that Kuldeep Yadav is trying to work his way back into the Indian team while Deepak Chahar has only played a few matches in international cricket.
Deepak Chahar smashed an unbeaten 69 and strung together an unbroken 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar who scored 19* to help India register an improbable three-wicket win successfully chasing 276 in the second ODI against Sri Lanka despite being 193/7 at one stage.
“What was the bowlers’ fault? Kuldeep Yadav is not going to play in the T20Is, so why wasn’t he retained? Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya got a chance but there was no logic behind resting Deepak Chahar. It is not that he had played a lot of ODIs. One can understand when you rest a player who has played a lot of matches like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami. But Chahar has only just started playing for India.”
“Chahar must be wondering why he was ‘rested’. He was the man of the match in the previous game. So he deserved another opportunity. The pacer was another big positive for Team India.
“He picked up two wickets each in the first two games and that too with the old ball. He also scored an unbeaten 69, which almost single-handedly won Team India the second match. Unless he was unfit, he should have played,” Aakash Chopra added.