'I still feel no but that's just my thought' - Aakash Chopra opines on Bhuvneshwar Kumar's possible inclusion in India's WTC Final squad
Sunrisers Hyderabad lost to Gujarat Titans by 34 runs despite Bhuvneshwar’s bowling spell of 5/30.
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As we are approaching the fag end of the coveted IPL 2023, plenty of close encounters have been the highlight since the past week with teams trying their best to make it to the playoffs round of the tournament. Hence, both the batters and bowlers are putting in the hard yard for their respective teams and the same the fans witnessed in the Gujarat Titans (GT) versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) clash. This also meant that with the World Test Championship Final (WTC Final) in the fray, several Indian cricketers tried to exploit the opportunity before the squad for India were announced recently.
While some impressed with their skills on the field some also failed to make an immediate impression in the minds of the national selectors. Among them, one Indian veteran all-rounder who started a tad slow but as the IPL progressed, came up good with this bowling prowess. That bowler is none other than Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The UP-based pacer took a 5-wicket haul on Monday, triggering a debate among cricket aficionados, about whether the swing master should have been part of the WTC final Indian squad or not.
In the same vein, the former India opener turned commentator, Aakash Chopra opined that the experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar still does not quite make the cut for the finals of the World Test Championship despite having scalped a five-wicket haul against Gujarat Titans in their den. Bhuvneshwar showed great control with the new ball as well as he even bowled brilliantly in the death overs to restrict Gujarat Titans to under 200. Notably, most of his wickets came in at the fag end of the innings.
The ace commentator lauded Bhuvneshwar for his spell but minced no words by saying that the swing bowler should not be added to India’s squad for the WTC final if the situation arises because of ongoing injury concerns around the selected players.
"First half of the English summer, you will need swing. Jasprit Bumrah is injured, Umesh Yadav is also injured, Shardul Thakur is looking 50-50 and Jaydev Unadkat's availability is also not yet confirmed. So, can Bhuvneshwar Kumar be added in such a scenario? I still feel no but that's just my thought," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Interestingly enough, Bhuvneshwar last played a Test match in January 2018. With swing being the prime factor in English conditions, many fans will want him to be with Team India as the pacer's skills can be handy at the Oval, but Chopra has different views regarding this matter.
Heinrich Klaasen is playing spin best in the middle overs: Chopra
Meanwhile, speaking about the performance of the Sunrisers Hyderabad batters, Aakash Chopra praised Heinrich Klaasen for his commendable batting in the ongoing IPL 2023. Chopra even picked Klaasen as the only bright spot in the SRH campaign so far as the South African has been consistently scoring runs for SRH in the middle order.
"Heinrich Klaasen is batting amazingly well. Among all overseas batters who are playing in this year's tournament, Heinrich Klaasen is playing spin best in the middle overs and towards the end in my opinion. He reads spin from the hand and plays with the spin. He is actually batting like an absolute beast," the 45-year-old concluded.