Aakash Chopra has opined that the ODI series against Sri Lanka presents a great opportunity for Team India to play Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in unison.
Yadav and Chahal are among the six spinners in India’s limited-overs squad for the tour of Sri Lanka. Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Krishnappa Gowtham and Krunal Pandya are the other tweakers in the 20-member contingent.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal should be played together because of their wicket-taking abilities. He said:
“I don’t think there can be a better opportunity than this because why did you play Kulcha together, Jaddu and Ashwin were not taking wickets in the middle overs. Nowadays there is a new problem that you are not taking wickets in the first ten overs also.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal were not only penetrative but also economical when they played together. Chopra elaborated:
“If you don’t take wickets in the first ten overs, don’t take wickets in the middle overs and you only control, a lot of runs are conceded at the end. Because of that, you had started playing them in the middle so that they take wickets. They took 100 wickets in 25 matches and the economy was also good – 5.5 to 6.”
Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal have scalped 118 wickets at an excellent average of 25.67 in the 34 ODIs they have played together for Team India.
Aakash Chopra wants Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal to play all three ODIs
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s partnership was broken after just one indifferent performance. He observed:
“Then just one game in Birmingham went bad where you lost to England in the 2019 World Cup league match. After that, they didn’t get a chance at all to play together.”
The 43-year-old signed off by stating that Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal should play all three ODIs, considering that Hardik Pandya is also rolling his arm over. Chopra explained:
“A slight problem was also that Hardik was not bowling and they were looking to play another all-rounder. But now Hardik is bowling and Jaddu and Ashwin are not there here, so please play both of them. You should play them 100%. You should play them all three ODIs and see what happens.”
Aakash Chopra added that Team India can also opt to play either Krunal Pandya or Krishnappa Gowtham as the third spinner, with both of them capable of wielding the willow as well.