Aakash Chopra feels India’s five-man theory is doubtful as Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan play 11

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Aakash Chopra Rohit Sharma Rahul Dravid


Ahead of the IND vs ENG second Test, cricket commentator Aakash Chopra has highlighted Team India’s selection dilemma. Aakash Chopra feels that Team India can pick five bowlers from the 11 players or bring in Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan in the second Test of India vs England.

The India vs England second Test is all set to begin on Friday, February 2, in Visakhapatnam. After the defeat in the first Test, Team India added two batsmen to the team – Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan. Both are uncapped middle-order batsmen and have a chance after consistent performances in the domestic circuit.

India lost the first Test against England even though the visitors were trailing by 190 runs after the first innings. Team India failed to reach the target of 231 runs in the final innings against an inexperienced group of English spinners. Therefore, there may be some changes in India’s 11th game in the IND vs ENG second Test.

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One theory could be not playing five players: Aakash Chopra

Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra talked about Team India’s 11th game for the Visakhapatnam Test on his YouTube channel. The former India opener feels that Team India can play with 5 bowlers or give opportunities to both Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan among the 11 bowlers.

“India has a slight selection dilemma. You want to debut both Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan. You also want to play Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav. If you want to do all that, you will have to play with 12 and not with 11. One theory could be not to play with five players,” said the 45-year-old.

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Aakash Chopra, who played for India in 2003-04, also feels that India should go ahead with spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin if they limit themselves to four bowlers in the game.

“You can say you are happy with four bowlers and you will be playing with three spinners and a fast bowler in the form of Bumrah. So my three spinners would be Kuldeep, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin. So I have a left-arm spinner, an unspinned spinner and a left-arm leg spinner,” Chopra said.

“If that is India’s XI, then you can play Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer and Sarfaraz Khan in the top six and you can keep Bharat at No. 7, and then you have four. bowlers,” added Aakash Chopra, who played 10 Tests for India.

Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan will be benched if India plays with 5 players: Aakash Chopra

However, Aakash Chopra also feels that if India plays with five players, then they will have to drop Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan from playing 11. However, this will be a tough decision for the team.

“That could be a theory, but India has committed to playing with five players. If they take that view, if they try to fit in with Washington Sundar, then one of Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz will have to stay on the sidelines, which will not be easy,” he added.

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India played with two pacers in the first Test

Team India played with two pacers in the previous game with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. While Bumrah took 6 wickets in the match, Siraj was left wicketless. England, on the other hand, only played one pacer, Mark Wood, and managed to outplay the hosts.

Therefore, Team India could go ahead with just one pacer and the rest of the spinners in the next Test. The India vs England test series consists of 5 matches. England leads the series 1-0 after winning the opening match by 28 runs. Ben Stokes leads England while Rohit Sharma leads India in the series.