Aakash Chopra 'disappointed but not surprised' at Yuzvendra Chahal's ODI World Cup exclusion

Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, and Sanju Samson were among players who failed to make the cut in India's World Cup squad.

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Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra reflected on India’s 15-member squad for the eagerly-anticipated 2023 ODI World Cup. The cricketer-turned-broadcaster voiced his disappointment on spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from the setup, however, added that he was not ‘surprised’.

Notably, the squad features a lone wrist-spinner in the form of Kuldeep Yadav and left-arm spinners such as Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. Aakash highlighted that having an off-spinner against heavyweight teams like Australia prove to be crucial.

“I'm not surprised by the team selection, but I am a bit disappointed that they haven't considered the need for Yuzvendra Chahal. We can’t play Jadeja and Axar together. There will be situations where you face teams like Australia with many left-handed batsmen, and having an off-spinner option becomes crucial. Unfortunately, the team doesn't have that now, and it seems like they haven't thought about it thoroughly. I hope this decision doesn't come back to haunt them in the future,” said Aakash on JioCinema.

In addition to this, Aakash spoke about team India’s batting depth and outlined the importance of a no. 9 player to be able to play crucial knocks, citing Pakistan and England as examples. He further added that the having the likes of Jadeja and Hardik in the setup would help in terms of the depth in the batting order, however, a ‘third’ all-rounder would be a ‘luxury’. 

"In an ideal scenario, you want your No. 9 player to bat a little bit. This is a strength that teams like Pakistan or England possess. Our problem is that our No. 9, 10, and 11 can't bat to the level where you can have confidence in their abilities. Hypothetically, it'll be Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Kuldeep Yadav in those positions,” Aakash elaborated.

“Additionally, we need a strong No. 8, for which we have Shardul Thakur. Why do you need a batter at No. 8? This is when you have a player or two in your top six whose form can't be trusted. That's when you want a little depth. There's merit in having four proper bowlers and playing Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya as two all-rounders. It should work with two all-rounders and a third all-rounder is a luxury,” he added.

Speaking about their campaign, India will play five-time winners Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on October 8. The high-voltage India-Pakistan clash will be played on October 14 at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad as per the revised schedule.

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