Aakash Chopra believes it’s still too early for India to consider Chetan Sakariya as an option for the T20 World Cup. The venerable pundit said despite his highly impressive ODI debut, the young left-arm pacer is still developing and can’t be looked at par with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.
Chetan Sakariya picked up two crucial wickets in the final India-Sri Lanka ODI, giving away just 34 runs from his eight overs. Chetan Sakariya made his debut for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. The left-arm pacer made a big impact and bagged 7 wickets in 7 matches.
Aakash Chopra: Chetan Sakariya’s Variations And Left Arm Angle Is An Advantage But He Isn’t An Option For The T20I World Cup After Just One Good Performance
The 23-year-old got just a 2-over spell in the powerplay. He then returned to bowl at a time when the hosts were running away with the game and brought his team back with consecutive strikes.
“It (Chetan Sakariya’s variations and left-arm angle) could be an advantage but we should never take our eyes off the big picture and analyze everything in a balanced manner. He played the first game here, which is in itself a tough job. He has only played 10 List A matches and then got just a 2-over spell upfront on debut. “
“Coming back from all that and still performing well is an arduous task and he did all that so you earmark him as a good bowler and observe his development. But you can’t, after just one good performance, think of him straightaway as an option for the T20 World Cup,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.
The former opener cited the example of Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Mongia to explain how ‘wildcard’ players tend to be unsuccessful in World Cups.
“When you pick a 15-member team for an ICC event, I believe you should pick those guys you have observed and analyzed for a long time. When you find someone out-of-the-box, mark him for the future and not for the present.
“We have the example of Vijay Shankar from 2019 and Dinesh Mongia before that. There’s always one wildcard entry in every World Cup and Chetan Sakariya might be the one this time, but, I have never seen any wildcard perform well yet,” Aakash Chopra added.
With an unassailable lead of 2-0, Team India handed debuts to five players ahead of the third and final ODI game against Sri Lanka on Friday. While the inexperience may have cost Shikhar Dhawan’s side the match, there was plenty to take away from the lost cause, one being Chetan Sakariya’s debut in the Indian jersey.
The Rajasthan Royals pacer picked up his maiden wicket in the form of Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65) when Krishnappa Gowtham (another debutant) took a splendid catch at fine leg to dismiss him after the Lankan batter was dropped by Shikhar Dhawan for 31 while Chetan Sakariya dropped him 11 runs later.
His second wicket was more fulfilling for the viewers to watch when he followed up his maiden international wicket with a slower ball. Completely deceived by the variation, Dhananjaya de Silva fell caught and bowled.
Aakash Chopra Doubts Whether Chetan Sakariya Will Play The First T20I After Impressive Performance In The 3rd And His Debut ODI
When asked whether Chetan Sakariya will warrant a place in the first T20I on Sunday (July 25), Aakash Chopra replied negatively. He lauded the youngster but said he’d still go with the experience of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.
“I really liked Chetan Sakariya’s performance. He bowled two overs upfront and then returned with a host of back-of-hand slower ones, bouncers, yorkers, from over the stumps and around the stumps; he is a brilliant bowler. But can I play him in the first match? Probably not, I’ll go with Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Deepak) Chahar,” Aakash Chopra concluded.
The first of the three T20Is starts at 8:00 PM IST in Colombo on Sunday (July 25). The final match of the India and Sri Lanka ODI series ended in the favor of the home team. The Sri Lankan cricket team snapped its 9-year-long winless streak in home ODIs against Team India to end the 3-match series on a winning note.
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI, Brief Scores: India 225 (Prithvi Shaw 49, Sanju Samson 46; Akila Dananjaya 3/44, Praveen Jayawickrama 3/59) lost to Sri Lanka 227/7 (Avishka Fernando 76, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 65; Rahul Chahar 3/54, Chetan Sakariya 2/34) by 3 wickets.