Aakash Chopra picks India’s probable XI against New Zealand for Kanpur Test

Aakash Chopra picks India’s probable XI against New Zealand for Kanpur Test

Chopra refrained from picking veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Facebook)

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has picked India’s probable playing XI for the opening Test against New Zealand, starting Thursday, November 25 at the Green Park in Kanpur. Prior to the match, India have been hit with a blow after KL Rahul was ruled out due to injury. Virat Kohli won’t be a part of the game and will join the team for the second Test in Mumbai.

Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma won’t be there either. However, Chopra asked India to not go in with six specialist batters due to the absence of big names. The veteran predicted Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill to open the batting followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer at No.3, 4 and 5 respectively.

Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha featured at No.6 and 7 respectively in Chopra’s predicted XI. He also went for Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel as the all-rounders. Even as Ashwin is one of leading wicket-takers and is also handy with the bat, Patel, earlier this year, put in an impressive showing against Joe Root’s England.

Chopra picks three spinners

“The biggest question is six or five batsmen. You can think about playing six batsmen because Kohli, Rohit, Pant and Rahul are not there – all your main batting is gone. So, you might want to go with an extra batsman. I will say resist the temptation, it’s okay,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Pujara at three, Rahane at four, Iyer at five. These will be your five batsmen. After that, play Jadeja at six. Jadeja can bat at six. Whichever keeper plays, it should be Saha in my opinion, keep him at seven,” he stated.

“At eight, you keep Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar at nine. Axar can also bat. So, you have a lot of batting. I think don’t compromise on the fact that you will need five full bowlers,” Chopra said.

As his fast bowlers, Chopra picked Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj. However, he refrained from picking veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma. “My two fast bowlers will be Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj because they will get the ball to reverse swing better than Ishant Sharma,” Chopra added.

Aakash Chopra’s XI

Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj