Aakash Chopra has said that the Indian captain and coach will have a massive headache during the Sri Lanka series, with the selectors including as many as six spinners in the team for the tour.
The Indian team, under Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership, will play six limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka in July. A 20-member squad has been named for the tour, which includes six spinners.
While speaking about the selected squad in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Dhawan and Rahul Dravid will have a tough task to choose between the six spin-bowling options.
“There are as many as six spinners but only four fast bowlers. Who picks six spinners? It will be a headache for the captain and the coach on whom they should play and when.”
The reputed commentator reasoned that the Indian team will not be able to field more than three spinners in a particular encounter.
“There is Rahul Chahar, Yuzi Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Krishnappa Gowtham. You will not be able to play more than three in any of the matches,” added Aakash Chopra.
Team India might be looking to field a spin-heavy bowling department against Sri Lanka. With none of the Indian spinners giving standout performances in the recent past, the tour might be the best chance for the selectors to finalize their spin-bowling combination for the T20 World Cup.
“Krunal Pandya will play” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra highlighted that playing three spinners might also not be feasible on occasions. He also named Krunal Pandya as a sure-shot pick in the playing XI.
“Playing three also becomes difficult, quite a few times you play only two and play three fast bowlers instead. Krunal Pandya will play because you don’t have a finisher. After that only two spinners can play.”
While naming Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as his preferred options for the remaining two spots in the ODIs, the 43-year-old concluded by stating that Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar and Krishnappa Gowtham will have to sit on the sidelines in such a scenario.
“In ODIs, you will definitely play Yuzi Chahal. So maximum you will be able to play one more spinner. I would say to play Kuldeep because you will not play him in the T20Is in any case. But then what will you do with Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar and why have you selected Krishnappa Gowtham,” signed off Aakash Chopra.
It is possible that India might be looking at fielding different spin-bowling combinations in the ODIs and T20Is. While Chahal and Yadav might be preferred in the ODIs, Chakravarthy and Chahar could come into the scheme of things for the shortest format of the game.
Gowtham might be a backup option for Krunal Pandya, as the only other spinner in the line-up capable of wielding the willow.