Aakash Chopra has opined that India is unlikely to tinker with their playing XI even though the conditions might be slightly altered after the first day of the World Test Championship (WTC) final was washed out.
Team India named their playing XI, which includes two spinners, a day ahead of the scheduled start of the WTC final. There have been calls in certain quarters for India to alter their composition, considering that the pitch might have more moisture and be seamer-friendly as the play is set to resume on Day 2.
Aakash Chopra: Ravindra Jadeja Might Score The Same Runs As Hanuma Vihari
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Ravindra Jadeja is likely to hold on to his place due to his all-around prowess.
“The change will not happen because in place of Jaddu, Shardul is not there, you will have to play Hanuma Vihari. Jaddu might score the same runs as Vihari at that number. He will also give you the bowling and fielding with that.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons batsman Hanuma Vihari might be a misfit in the playing XI, with No.6 being the ideal position for keeper Rishabh Pant.
Aakash Chopra explained: “If you include Hanuma, you will either play him at No.7, a pure batsman batting at No.7 does not make sense. If you play him at No.6, then Rishabh Pant plays at No.7, that doesn’t make sense at all.”
Aakash Chopra added that the inclusion of a seamer at the expense of Ravindra Jadeja will compromise the batting depth, considering that the top-order batsmen might struggle against the new ball in these conditions.
“I will not play a fourth fast bowler, four fast bowlers and Ravichandran Ashwin. That’s not going to happen, the tail will become too long. It is already looking like a game where No. 5 to 8 might score more runs than the top four batsmen. That’s a possibility, so you need some batting depth.”
Team India will surely be in a dilemma if it is a moisture-laden pitch. However, they are likely to persist with their chosen XI even in such a scenario as the spinners could also come into play on such a track.
Aakash Chopra: Both Teams Might Look To Make The Opposition Bat First
Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that both teams might look to make the opposition bat first under the changed circumstances.
“But one change can definitely happen, you might want to bowl first now if you win the toss. It is possible whichever team bowls first, might have the scales tilted towards them slightly on this pitch.”
Team India might have had second thoughts of inserting the opposition in if they stick to their playing XI with the two spinners. New Zealand, on the other hand, is likely to bowl first to get the best out of their potent seam attack. New Zealand has gone for four frontline seamers and no spinner. New Zealand won the toss and opted to field first.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first against India on Day 2 of the final of the inaugural WTC in Southampton. New Zealand has gone with four specialist fast bowlers and another seam-bowling option in all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme. India, on the other hand, has stuck with their playing XI which was announced on Thursday. The first day was washed out due to rain and bad weather.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand Playing XI: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult