Aakash Chopra questioned the rationale behind India’s 17-member T20I squad for the South Africa tour, expressing surprise at the extended selection for just three games.

Former cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed skepticism over the selectors’ choice of a 17-member squad for India’s upcoming T20I series against South Africa. In a YouTube video, he highlighted the absence of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli due to requested breaks, mentioning that both players won’t feature in the T20I format. Chopra questioned the reasoning behind the extended squad for just three games and remarked on Suryakumar Yadav leading the team and Ravindra Jadeja as vice-captain.

With the first T20I set for December 10 in Durban, Chopra reflected on the selectors’ decision, pondering the necessity of having such a large contingent for the limited number of matches.

“There was a lot of speculation about whether Rohit Sharma will become the T20I captain and whether Virat Kohli will once again be seen playing T20Is but nothing has happened. Rohit and Kohli are unavailable. Both asked for a break and both have been given a break,” Chopra said.

“Suryakumar Yadav is the captain here, which is fair. Ravindra Jadeja is the vice-captain of this team. It is an interesting development. A 17-member team has been announced. 17 people for three games – why?” he added.

The T20I squad for the South Africa tour includes players returning from the World Cup break like Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj. However, Axar Patel, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Shivam Dube from the ongoing Australia series have been left out. Chopra highlighted a potential challenge in deciding the batting order due to the abundance of talented players.

“It is almost the same team that is playing here (vs Australia). Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj and Ravindra Jadeja have come in. It will be interesting to see who bats where because Yashasvi, Shubman and Ruturaj – all cannot open,” he said.

Ultimately, Chopra stressed that despite sending them, at least four players might not get a game, making the selection a challenging task without significant gains.

“Then Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan. All of them cannot play. So it will be interesting for whoever tries to make the XI from this. Ultimately, there will be at least four people who won’t get to play even a single match. So you have sent them for sure but you won’t gain anything from that,” he concluded.

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Last Updated on December 1, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter