Aakash Chopra Picks Up 5 Batsmen To Replace Suresh Raina
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Aakash Chopra Reveals Batsmen To Replace Suresh Raina

Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener turned commentator has picked a list of five batsmen who could replace Suresh Raina in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad after he left even before the start of IPL 2020. He also mentioned that he would opt for Hanuma Vihari if the choice to select a replacement was to be given to him.

Aakash Chopra gave a list of five Indian cricketers who could serve as alternatives to Suresh Raina in CSK franchise for IPL 2020 in a video shared on his YouTube page.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. Image Credit: Twitter.

Aakash Chopra Picks Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary Before Picking Up Favourite Hanuma Vihari To Replace Suresh Raina

Aakash Chopra’s first pick as a replacement for Suresh Raina in the CSK squad was Yusuf Pathan, who has played previously for Rajasthan Royals, KKR and SunRisers Hyderabad. He has experience in IPL considering the fact that he has played 174 matches scored 3204 runs averaging 29.13 besides picking up 42 wickets averaging 33.69.

“I am going to start with Yusuf Pathan. He has done well in T20s but was not picked in the auction for this year’s IPL,” Aakash Chopra said.

Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan

Aakash Chopra reasoned that the Baroda all-rounder could be given preference as he could play the finisher’s role along with MS Dhoni, with CSK already boosting of experienced batsmen in the top order.

“So you might need a finisher along with MS Dhoni, so Yusuf Pathan could be that guy for Chennai Super Kings,” he added.

Manoj Tiwary was Aakash Chopra’s second pick as a middle-order batsman in the CSK squad, considering his good form in domestic cricket and his ability to play crucial knocks in crunch situations.

He has played previously for Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Rising Pune Supergiants and appeared in 98 matches scoring 1695 runs averaging a modest 28.73.

“The second option is Manoj Tiwary. His IPL career has not been very glamorous but he has played quite a few important knocks,” he said.

Aakash Chopra’s third pick as Suresh Raina’s replacement was Hanuma Vihari, and he recalled that he was surprised after Hanuma Vihari was not bought by any franchise in the auction for IPL 2020. Hanuma Vihari has scored only 284 runs in 24 matches averaging 14.2 having played for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals in the past.

“Another player is Hanuma Vihari. I was surprised when he was not bought in this auction. Because if you think of him in the last 12-18 months, he has made his place in Test cricket including a century at No.6 and the way he has scored.”

Aakash Chopra even named him as his personal choice, considering the middle-order batsman’s expertise against spin bowling and ability to bowl a few overs as well.

Aakash Chopra Pics Up Dhruv Shorey As Penultimate And Cheteshwar Pujara As Last Option To Replace Suresh Raina

Aakash Chopra’s penultimate choice was Dhruv Shorey, who is a player who has played for CSK previously but did not get enough opportunities.

“Another one is former CSK member Dhruv Shorey. He was a part of the team but hardly got a couple of opportunities. He is a good player and although his first-class season may not have been excellent this year, the player has potential,” he said.

Dhruv Shorey has featured in only 2 matches where he scored 13 runs.

Aakash Chopra’s final pick as a replacement for Suresh Raina in the CSK squad was India’s test specialist mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara. However, he added that his fielding might go against him, with MS Dhoni tending to prefer players with all-round skills.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara Image Credits: BCCI

“Last but not the least, I am going with Cheteshwar Pujara. The thing in his favour is that he plays spin well. But the thing that goes against him is that he is not a very good fielder. Also he is a top-order batsman and not a finisher,”​ Aakash Chopra concluded.

Cheteshwar Pujara has played in 30 IPL matches where he has scored 390 runs averaging 20.53.

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