Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra pointed out that openers could be a worrisome factor for India as they are gearing up for the South Africa challenge. Notable that India will play the 3-Test match series without the services of Rohit Sharma who was ruled out for the series due to a hamstring injury.

In absence of Rohit Sharma, India will be likely to go with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Though their past records ain’t encouraging. KL Rahul played 2 Tests in South Africa and scored only 30 runs in his 4 innings. On the other side, Mayank Agarwal hadn’t played any Tests in South Africa but his away record has been pretty average. His batting average in away matches is 26.76 as compared to 83.90 at home.

India Did Well In England Because Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Were Consistent - Aakash Chopra 1

Opening didn’t work out very well. If openers don’t do well, the team doesn’t do well. We did well in England because Rahul and Rohit were consistent; here, we don’t have that, which could be a problem,

“Now, Mayank will open with Rahul. Both started their India journey in the Boxing Day Tests and now they’re back. In between, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, and Prithvi Shaw all opened for the side. So it’s phenomenal how the world changes, really,” Chopra said on his Youtube Channel

Aakash Chopra also pointed out the misery of the Indian middle order. Virat Kohli hasn’t scored a hundred for two years while Pujara has been waiting for the same since January 2019. Rahane’s recent form is so poor that he might not feature in the XI for Centurion Test.

“Last time (in South Africa), our highest run-scorer was Virat Kohli. He scored 286 runs at an average of 47. But there was no one else who scored runs and that was the main issue. If you don’t bat four or five sessions, it becomes difficult to win. Last time, India couldn’t even play three properly,” he added.

India Did Well In England Because Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Were Consistent - Aakash Chopra 2
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (file photo)

Former Indian opener also stated that both sides are blessed with a quality pace attack so ultimately the batting will be deciding factor in the series.

“Among bowlers, Philander was the top wicket-taker alongside Shami and Rabada. Bumrah had his debut series and returned with 14 wickets. The key performers are still there; in fact, we also have Siraj in the team now.” he added further

“India played good in Australia and England. But we are struggling in batting which is my biggest worry. We don’t have Axar or Jadeja (in lower-middle order) or Rohit (in opening order). Rahane doesn’t have the form and Pujara hasn’t been consistent as well,” he opined.

The first test between India and South Africa will begin on December 26 at Centurion.

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