Prior to the 2023 Indian T20 League’s (ITL) March 31 opening, former India opener Aakash Chopra lauded the Hyderabad franchise’s squad as the ‘best on paper’. On Sunday, April 2, they will play the Rajasthan franchise at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to kick off their Indian T20 League season. Chopra was thrilled to see the storied bowling history of Hyderabad.
The cricketer-turned-commentator and presented took to the micro-blogging site Twitter and shared a tweet writing, ‘The strongest team on paper is #Hyderabad. They have covered most bases. No injury or availability concerns. Good record at Hyderabad. Expecting a solid season from them, #TataITL. What do you think? #AakashVaniPoll.’
Aakash Chopra called the Hyderabad squad ‘an entire star cast’
Hyderabad has acquired foreign players like Adil Rashid (INR 2 crore) and Akeal Hosein in the December mini-auction (INR 1 crore). Also, they paid Harry Brook’s services INR 13.25 crore and Heinrich Klaasen (INR 5.25 Crore).
“This team’s bowling. It is an entire star cast. Fast bowlers, plenty of them – Fazalhaq Farooqi, Marco Jansen, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, and T Natarajan. In spinners, they have Mayank Markande, Akeal Hosein, Washington Sundar, and Adil Rashid. Their bowling is their strength because they are probably the only team in the tournament to play an all-India bowling attack,” said Chopra on the ‘AakashVani’ show on JioCinema.
The 45-year-old continued, saying their bowling assault sets them apart from other teams due to its all-Indian composition. According to Chopra, Adil Rashid might be used as an offensive option, and an all-Indian fast bowling squad could be fielded.
The former cricketer-turned-commentator speculated that Hyderabad would potentially have three Indian seamers in addition to South Africa’s Marco Jansen. He claimed that the team’s captain, Aiden Markram, and Washington Sundar could each bowl a few overs. Markram will serve as captain for the 2023 season instead of Kane Williamson, who was fired from the squad in 2022.
According to Chopra, Hyderabad don’t have any visible defects. He did acknowledge that if Aiden Markram, who will serve as captain for the first time in the ITL, struggles at the bat, the squad would have some selection issues. Heinrich Klaasen will likely be the team’s selected wicketkeeper-batter for their starting Lineup. Another choice is the talented middle-order foreign batsman who can also play wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips.
Here’s how fans reacted to Aakash Chopra’s claims:
Paper strong doesn't work on field matters ….srh will play without 3 players in opening encounter …
— Rebel Sam (@ROHITKU67268135) March 30, 2023
Kitna paisa khilaya hoga?
— Cricket Fan 07 (@Manas_pr_sharma) March 30, 2023
Their death bowling still concerns me. Bhuvi's has not been good lately and Natarajan has not played cricket since October 2022. Either they have to trust a more raw bowler like Tyagi or they have to play Fazalhaq, which compromises their batting depth.
— Darshan Senthil (@dagiroxforever7) March 30, 2023
KKR looks the most weakest among all the teams 👎
— Captain Flying Saucer 👽🛸 (@Cricket_Sutra21) March 30, 2023
Strong Batting line up.
Weak Bowling attack (specially death overs)
— Abhimanyu (@abhimanyusrt) March 30, 2023
— 🚩🚩SaM Hawaka Zhoka🚩🚩 (@Sameerm79456326) March 30, 2023
Aise to RCB ke pas 6 se 7 trophy honi chahiye
— Nikhhiiil (@iamnr001) March 30, 2023
Aus kee haar itni jald bhula dee
— Harsh Yadav (@HarshYa32150671) March 30, 2023