Cricketer turned expert Aakash Chopra has picked India’s playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. India will be without the services of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for the match thus there are plenty of spots up for grabs. One of Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer is also likely to make his Test debut in Kanpur.
Chopra selected Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill as two openers. Mayank and Gill are certain to open in the first game as there are no other openers in the team. The former India cricketer then went in with Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer as the next three batters. It’s a very important series for the duo of Pujara and Rahane. The players have struggled in the last few series and questions are being raised on their place in the team. Chopra also preferred Shreyas Iyer over Suryakumar Yadav who was added to the India squad as a replacement for KL Rahul.
Wridhhiman Saha will be the specialist wicketkeeper, while Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Ravi Ashwin are the three spinners in Chopra’s team.
“The biggest question is six or five batsmen. You can think about playing six batsmen because Kohli, Rohit, Pant and Rahul are not there – all your main batting is gone. So, you might want to go with an extra batsman. I will say resist the temptation, it’s okay,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Pujara at three, Rahane at four, Iyer at five. These will be your five batsmen. After that, play Jadeja at six. Jadeja can bat at six. Whichever keeper plays, it should be Saha in my opinion, keep him at seven,” he stated.
“At eight, you keep Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar at nine. Axar can also bat. So, you have a lot of batting. I think don’t compromise on the fact that you will need five full bowlers,” Chopra said.
Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav are the two preferred fast bowlers for Aakash Chopra. “My two fast bowlers will be Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj because they will get the ball to reverse swing better than Ishant Sharma,” Chopra added.
Aakash Chopra’s XI
Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj