'Not 100% convinced that you can play him against Pakistan'- Aakash Chopra has doubts over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's form

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most expensive bowler against England in the warm-up game against England, giving away 54 runs in his four overs

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Cricketer-turned-expert Aakash Chopra feels India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is not a certainty in the playing XI for the team’s opener against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. Chopra’s comments came after the swing bowler was ineffective with the ball, giving a whopping 54 run off his four overs against England in the warmup game. Kumar, who is usually economical, was smothered by England batters on a flat and placid pitch.

He also failed to get any swing going, and England batters took full advantage of it by dispatching him to all parts of the ground. India’s most impressive bowler was Mohammed Shami, who managed to take three wickets. Off-spinner R Ashwin was the most economical bowler, conceding just six runs per over. The major worry for the management would be the form of Kumar. Along with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, he is the team’s most experienced bowler.

Chopra reviewed the swing bowler’s performance and said he is not looking his usual self. “Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been expensive. He is not looking a patch of his usual self. He has a lot of experience, but I am not 100% convinced that you can play him in the XI against Pakistan. I will be thinking about Shardul Thakur,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, even leg spinner Rahul Chahar was expensive as he gave 43 runs in his four overs. Chopra stated that the management would give Varun Chakravarthy a spot considering the below-par performance of Chahar.

“Rahul Chahar was very expensive. That means I see Varun Chakravarthy playing the next match and against Pakistan. Ravichandran Ashwin bowled well, bowled off-spin as well in the first couple of overs but will you see him playing as the third spinner if three play.”

Aakash Chopra reckoned Mohammed Shami did a good job

Although Shami was expensive, giving 40 runs in his four overs, he still managed to pick wickets at regular intervals. He was well supported by the ever-so-reliable Bumrah, who picked up one wicket and gave away just 26 runs. Chopra says Bumrah and Shami as the preferred seam bowling options for India.

“Mohammed Shami did his job and picked wickets, and Bumrah was economical. Mohammed Shami’s yorkers are falling in place, but he can also be expensive, but then Bumrah is your No.1 fast bowler, and Mohammed Shami is your second fast bowler. That was a big takeaway.”

India won the match by seven wickets against England.