Prithvi Shaw. PC-AFP
Prithvi Shaw. PC-AFP

Aakash Chopra doesn’t see Prithvi Shaw figuring in India’s XI in the second T20I against New Zealand despite their top-order batters’ failure in the first game.

The second game of the three-match series will be played at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday (January 29). The Men in Blue were reduced to 15-3 while chasing a 177-run target in Ranchi on Friday and eventually lost by 21 runs.

Prithvi Shaw (Photo/ ICC Twitter)
Prithvi Shaw (Photo/ ICC Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Feels Prithvi Shaw Should Open In The 3rd T20I For Ishan Kishan And Shubman Gill Are Struggling In T20Is But Adds It’s Unlikely

Prithvi Shaw last played for the national team in July on Sri Lanka 2021 tour and was out for a first-ball duck on his T20I debut (the only T20I he played). He has played 6 ODIs, scoring 189 runs and 5 Tests with 339 runs with one century to his name.

He has played only 5 Tests, 6 ODIs, and 1 T20I and has amassed 339 runs averaging 42.37 in Tests and 189 runs averaging 31.5 in ODIs. Prithvi Shaw was selected for the New Zealand T20Is on the basis of strong performance in the domestic circuit.

While previewing the second T20I in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that Prithvi Shaw is unlikely to replace either Ishan Kishan or Shubman Gill at the top of the order, elaborating:

“Is there any scope for change in the Indian team? That’s a big question. It almost seems that Prithvi Shaw should play because Ishan Kishan has a highest of 36 in his last 12 T20I innings, and Shubman Gill hasn’t really set the world on fire if you talk about T20I cricket. You can ask either of them to sit out, but it will not happen.”

Shubman Gill (left) and Ishan Kishan have not set the stage on fire in T20I cricket. (P/C: BCCI)
Shubman Gill (left) and Ishan Kishan have not set the stage on fire in T20I cricket. (P/C: BCCI)

Aakash Chopra added that Hardik Pandya and the team management are likely to stick with the same combination that played the first game, reasoning:

“It will simply not happen because in a three-match series, you try to stick with whoever you play in the first match. If you make changes quickly, questions are raised on the selection philosophy, that you are doing something wrong. The team that played in Ranchi will be seen playing in Lucknow as well.”

Prithvi Shaw cannot replace Ishan Kishan, as the hosts would not have another wicketkeeper in the playing XI. The Mumbai opener could replace Shubman Gill, but the Punjab batter is likely to be persisted with for at least another game, considering his exceptional form in ODI cricket.

Aakash Chopra: Top 3 Batters Will Be Under A Lot Of Focus But A Good IPL 2023 Might Change Team Combination

Aakash Chopra added that the trio of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi need to deliver in Sunday’s game. Shubman Gill (7), Ishan Kishan (4) and Rahul Tripathi (0) registered single-digit scores in the 1st T20I as India were reduced to 15/3 in the 4th over before recovering to post 155/9 chasing 177 run target. However, Suryakumar Yadav’s 47 and Washington Sundar’s maiden 50 went in vain.

“A lot of focus will be there on the top three – Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi because time is running out. An IPL will come in between, and stories might change. So it is better you score runs now, ” said Aakash Chopra.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra concluded by pointing out that a good IPL 2023 might bring the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad into contention.

“A good IPL and you might suddenly see Sanju Samson in place of Ishan Kishan and Prithvi Shaw in place of Shubman Gill. Rahul Tripathi might go, and Ruturaj Gaikwad might come in. That’s what IPL does to the selection, ” said Aakash Chopra.

Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan average 16.25 and 26.37 respectively in T20Is. Rahul Tripathi played an enterprising 35-run knock in the final T20I against Sri Lanka but has failed in his two other outings. The trio will need to be more consistent to hold onto their spots in the XI.