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Aakash Chopra feels Team India missed an opportunity in the ODI series against Windies

The former cricketer turned commentator is unhappy that selectors wasted a chance to try out the newcomers in the recently concluded ODI series.

Aakash Chopra
Akash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The ODI leg of India’s tour of West Indies has been done and dusted with the visitors winning the series 3-1, courtesy a brilliant flourish with the bat from skipper Virat Kohli in the series-deciding final match. It was a fair premonition from the cricket pundits that the series will go India’s way. They stamped their authority on the Windies quite convincingly. But the series is also seen as a loss for India as they failed to try out their young bench. Aakash Chopra rued this fact in his latest article.

Aakash summed up the series in his article where he talked about Mohammed Shami’s sublime spell and Ajinkya Rahane’s come back to his usual elements. Shami had bagged a four-wicket haul in his lone ODI match in the Carribean. Rahane, on the other hand, made his mark with three fifties and a century, thus lifting the man of the series award. Rahane’s blazing comeback can put the selectors in a dilemma with regards to who should be groomed as the third opener as KL Rahul was the most sought after following Rahane’s dip in form earlier.

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Positives from the tour

It was really heartening for Aakash to see Hardik Pandya bowl his full quota of 10 overs. This decision signifies his importance in the team as a part of the pace quintet. The team management’s patience with Pandya is proving to be quite fruitful as the latter has been economical and bowled intelligently according to the situation. Aakash has also heaped praises on chinaman Kuldeep Yadav who got his maiden ODI cap from Yuvraj Singh. Kuldeep had a memorable series in the West Indies and Aakash wondered whether his inclusion in the Champions Trophy playing XI could have paid dividends.

The missed chance

But he lamented the missed opportunity to test the young brigade with the likes of Rishabh Pant, Yuzvendra Chahal, Basil Thampi and Sanju Samson. Aakash pointed out that since India lost the fourth match, questions are raised on whether experience should only be the criteria for choosing the playing XI, rather than picking the strongest team at hand. He also stated that the perception of playing the youngsters can result in the series going out of hand is ridiculous. He added that it was underestimation of the young crop and over-estimating the Windies.

He was in favour of losing the series at the cost of understanding the potential of the budding players than losing the golden opportunity to test them. He questioned the responsibility of the captain and the selectors as well. Continuing in the same vein, he revealed that no matter what’s discussed between the captain and the selectors regarding the selection of a particular member, it’s the selectors who have the final call on the Playing XI.

Hopeful for the future

The former player also pointed out that it would have been a difficult call for the selectors to rest the seniors and play the young men since the latter have prepared themselves for only one format. He took the example of Kuldeep and Pant to drive home his point. Kohli included Kuldeep since he has played all the three formats Pant doesn’t have that luxury. So to include him as a top order batsman would be suicidal.

Since the World Cup is a couple of years away, the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has spilled the beans that youngsters would be given an opportunity to prove their mettle in the international arena. Aakash is hoping that the selectors can settle with the upcoming Sri Lanka tour to give the young clan a chance.

Aakash Chopra wrote the article for Mid-Day

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