India vs Australia: Aakash Chopra questions Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul's exclusion from the first ODI

Will they get a chance in Nagpur?

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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Team India and the selectors are zeroing in on their World Cup squad and now have only four matches to do the same. The skipper Virat Kohli, ahead of the series against Australia, had cleared that some eyebrow-raising changes will be made to test the fringe players. But, as of now, if the first ODI and two T20Is against Australia is considered, nothing of that sort has happened which has left Aakash Chopra worried.

Two major talking points of India’s World Cup squad are the backup opener and wicketkeeper. KL Rahul is auditioning for the opening slot while Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant are fighting it out for the latter. Karthik has been dropped from the squad only for Pant to get more chances.

However, both Rahul and Pant didn’t feature in the series opener in Hyderabad which left many surprised as they were expected to get a whole series to prove their mettle.

Pant hasn’t given a lot of confidence

Aakash Chopra too questioned their absence from the playing XI and was especially worried about Rishabh Pant who failed in T20Is as well. On the flipside, KL Rahul did well in the two-match series which India lost. Though Virat Kohli has already cleared that the T20 performances won’t affect the World Cup selections. In that case, both Rahul and Pant are still not a certainty.

Chopra also pointed out the same ahead of the second ODI in Nagpur and said, “KL Rahul has form. You did give him that opportunity and he did score runs. But will his T20I performance help in deciding his World Cup spot? That will be wrong because Kohli had mentioned that IPL form will not decide World Cup selections.”

While speaking about Pant, Aakash Chopra made it clear that the youngster hasn’t infused any confidence in the limited-overs format to get picked for the World Cup and should be tested enough if he is in the plans.

“Is Rishabh Pant part of the scheme of things? If he is part of it then when will he get the opportunity to bat and score runs? Because he hasn’t scored a lot of runs. He is not giving me a lot of confidence, as of now. And if he doesn’t play this time will he give you that amount of confidence that you can take him for the World Cup?” the former cricketer added in a video on Twitter.

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