Aakash Chopra picks his choice of India XI for South Africa T20Is

Aakash Chopra picks his choice of India XI for South Africa T20Is

Chopra has neither included Dinesh Karthik nor Kuldeep Yadav in his XI.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Facebook)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday, May 22 announced the India squad for the upcoming five-match home T20I series against South Africa starting June 9. Emerging pacers Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh have been rewarded for their consistent performances in the ongoing IPL 2022. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya also makes a comeback to international cricket after the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 back in November.

More importantly, it is Dinesh Karthik’s selection that has impressed one and all. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter will be donning the India jersey for the first time since the 2019 World Cup. As Karthik gears up to make his international comeback, former India Test opener Aakash Chopra has excluded him from his playing XI during a pre-series analysis.

Dinesh Karthik not included in Aakash Chopra’s Playing XI

“What is the composition of the XI you are going to see? I feel you might see Ishan Kishan opening alongside KL Rahul. But there are a lot of keepers, so he might not open, you can open with Ruturaj Gaikwad and not Ishan Kishan, that’s a choice”,  said Chopra while speaking on his official YouTube channel.

“I feel Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Hooda should definitely get a place in the XI. After that, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. That makes your middle order ready. Your batting becomes formidable there”, he added.

Apart from Karthik, Chopra has also not included Venkatesh Iyer in his scheme of things as well. Coming back to Dinesh Karthik’s dream run in IPL 2022, he has been RCB’s savior in the middle order having amassed 287 runs from 14 matches at a strike rate of 191.33 including a half-century. The veteran cricketer has remained unbeaten on nine of those occasions.

Meanwhile, India will be led by the limited-overs vice-captain KL Rahul as regular skipper Rohit Sharma has been rested along with a couple of other key players like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah as a part of the workload management.

Aakash Chopra’s XI for SA T20Is: KL Rahul,(c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan