‘It was a problem of our own making’ – Aakash Chopra unhappy over India’s long-standing number four conundrum
Chopra said that players should have gotten a longer rope to prove their mettle at the highest level.
Updated - Jul 4, 2020 4:43 pm
Aakash Chopra, the former Indian cricketer, has expressed his displeasure over India’s ever-lasting conundrum for the number four position. Before the 2019 World Cup, the selection panel threw a massive surprise, leaving out Ambati Rayudu, who was said to have confirmed his spot for the number four position. Vijay Shankar was included being an all-rounder.
Even after Shankar was ruled out before the match against England, Rayudu was left aside. Rather, Rishabh Pant, who made his ODI debut only a few months ago, got an opportunity. Chopra, who played for India from 2003 to 2004, said that players should have gotten a longer rope to prove their mettle at the highest level.
We didn’t do a good job: Aakash Chopra
“This is ridiculous. You played more than a dozen players at No.4 and none of them have played more than 16 matches at that position. I mean you have auditioned 14 players and not even given 20 innings to even one of them. We are talking about a period of 5 years here,” Chopra was quoted as saying on his official YouTube channel.
“We have been consistently making changes and because of this only when the 2019 World Cup came, we were still searching for the No.4 batsman. You didn’t take Rayudu, kept Vijay Shankar at the beginning, then you thought about KL Rahul and then you went to Rishabh Pant, you were absolutely clueless. It was a problem of our own making, we didn’t do a good job,” he added.
Chopra reckons that Rayudu was left out despite performing well at the highest level. After being sidelined, Rayudu even went on to announce his retirement, though he made his comeback later that year. Chopra was also of the opinion that Ajinkya Rahane wasn’t persisted with either. Rahane last played ODI cricket in the away series against South Africa back in 2018.
After going for many other options, India resorted to Shreyas Iyer for the position. He was roped in for the ODI series against the West Indies last year and he didn’t flatter to deceive by any stretch of the imagination. He scored loads of runs and retained his spot for the upcoming fixtures.