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"Are you convinced that he is your best opener?" - Aakash Chopra on Rishabh Pant opening in 2nd T20I vs NZ

New Zealand v India - 2nd T20
Rishabh Pant failed to play a substantial knock in the second T20I against New Zealand.

Aakash Chopra has questioned whether India are convinced that Rishabh Pant is their best opener or if they are trying to somehow make him succeed at the top of the order.

Pant managed just six runs off 13 deliveries as India set a 192-run target for New Zealand in the second T20I at Mount Maunganui on Sunday, November 20. Their bowlers then bowled out Kane Williamson and Co. for 126 to register a comprehensive 65-run win.

While reflecting on India's batting performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra picked Suryakumar Yadav as his Player of the Match and had the following to say about Pant:

"The start was not that good. Rishabh Pant plays a shot and gets out. He scored six runs off 13 balls, so you are thinking now if he can perform that role. A slight question will be there - Are you getting Rishabh to open because we want him to be successful as an opener or are you convinced that he is your best opener?"
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Chopra acknowledged that Ishan Kishan cannot be judged based on one knock but added that the left-hander will have to grab his opportunities. The former Indian opener reasoned:

"Ishan Kishan stood in the middle, scored 36 runs off 31 balls. Once again it's not the role that we are talking about. You will expect Ishan Kishan to play destructively. Don't judge him with just one match, but these things will definitely be in your mind because Sanju Samson is sitting outside and waiting."
India 191-6, but...Ishan Kishan 36(31)Rishabh Pant 6(13)Shreyas Iyer 13(9)Hardik Pandya 11(12)Deepak Hooda 0(1)Washington Sundar 0(1)Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1*(1)Total of the above 67(68)SKY single-handedly made the total look reasonable.

Kishan struck five fours and a six during his 31-ball 36. He was the dominant partner in his 36-run opening-wicket partnership with Pant.


"It is evident that there is an attempt to change the template" - Aakash Chopra on Shreyas Iyer's knock

Shreyas Iyer scored 13 runs off nine balls.
Shreyas Iyer scored 13 runs off nine balls.

Chopra feels Shreyas Iyer taking the attack to the opposition bowlers from the word go spoke volumes of the aggressive approach the Men in Blue want to adopt. He stated:

"Shreyas Iyer came at No. 4 and tried to play some big shots. It is evident that there is an attempt to change the template. The bowling was extremely ordinary if you leave aside Tim Southee's three wickets and Ish Sodhi's overs."

Chopra criticized New Zealand's bowling performance in Sunday's game, elaborating:

"Bowling looked quite pedestrian to be very, very honest. Adam Milne didn't do very well. Lockie Ferguson was still alright but he was also hit for almost 50 runs in four overs, the one over proved very expensive for him when Suryakumar Yadav went after him."

Yadav smashed four fours and a six in the penultimate over bowled by Lockie Ferguson. However, India managed only five runs in the last over bowled by Tim Southee, with the Kiwi seamer bagging a hat-trick and ensuring that the centurion was stuck at the non-striker's end for the entire over.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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