Can't think of Chetan Sakariya as a T20 WC option after just one good performance: Aakash Chopra

Chetan Sakariya picked two wickets and gave away just 34 runs in his debut ODI game.

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Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Facebook)

Five India players were handed their ODI debuts in the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka. All the youngsters performed decently, with bowlers Rahul Chahar and Chetan Sakariya picking three and two wickets respectively.

While the ODI series concluded, the three-match T20 series beckons the team. This will be the last international series in the shortest format for the Men in Blue before the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and chances are that the fringe players’ performance will be assessed during the three games that begin on Sunday.

Although Sakariya impressed in his debut ODI game, Aakash Chopra feels it’s too early for him to play in the T20 World Cup for India, which begins in November. The 43-year-old feels the young fast bowler is still evolving and cannot be looked at in the same way as Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Deepak Chahar.

“It (Chetan Sakariya’s variations and left-arm angle) could be an advantage but, we should never take our eyes off the big picture and analyze everything in a balanced manner. He played the first game here, which is in itself a tough job. He has only played 10 List A matches and then got just a 2-over spell upfront on debut.”

“Coming back from all that and still performing well is an arduous task and he did all that so you earmark him as a good bowler and observe his development. But you can’t, after just one good performance, think of him straightaway as an option for the T20 World Cup,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.

Aakash Chopra reckons wildcard players tend to be unsuccessful in World Cups

The former India opener further gave examples of Dinesh Mongia and Vijay Shankar as to how the duo failed in ICC 2003 and 2019 World Cup respectively. While the southpaw failed to get going in the middle order, the all-rounder didn’t quite make an impact in batting and bowling.

“When you pick a 15-member team for an ICC event, I believe you should pick those guys you have observed and analyzed for a long time. When you find someone out-of-the-box, mark him for the future and not for the present. We have the example of Vijay Shankar from 2019 and Dinesh Mongia before that.”

“There’s always one wildcard entry in every World Cup and Chetan Sakariya might be the one this time, but, I have never seen any wildcard perform well yet,” Aakash Chopra added.

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