Former Indian player Aakash Chopra wants Gujarat Titans (GT) to release Australia's keeper batter Matthew Wade ahead of next season. He stated that the southpaw couldn't make the most of his chances in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL 2022).
The Titans started with the Aussie cricketer ahead of Wriddhiman Saha. Wade failed to make any significant contributions with the bat and was eventually left out of the playing XI. The 34-year-old made a comeback in the last few games but his rough patch continued.
Aakash Chopra believes that it makes no sense to persist with a player who hasn't contributed to the team's success despite getting a lot of opportunities. He wants GT to part ways with the swashbuckler and rope in someone else next year.
Sharing his views on his YouTube channel, Chopra stated:
"Matthew Wade should be released. He was a part of Australia's T20 World Cup squad and has also won the IPL now, but he didn't do anything, despite getting so many chances. If he's not done anything, GT should part ways with him."
Wade, who returned to the cash-rich league after a long gap, accumulated only 157 runs in 10 outings at an average of 15.70 and a strike rate of below 115.
The cricketer-turned-commentator also pointed out that the likes of Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya and David Miller did the bulk of the scoring for the side. However, the Titans had to struggle with the No.3 batter. They tried a few options but the batters failed to cash in on the opportunity.
Aakash Chopra feels that the No.3 has been an area of concern for the champion side.
The 44-year-old said:
"They had Shubman Gill at the top, Hardik Pandya in the middle, and David Miller in the finisher's role. There were expectations from Gill and Pandya. Miller, on the other hand, had a fantastic season, which hasn't happened for a few years. But what apart from these guys? Saha came in quite late and they didn't have a set opener for several games."
Aakash Chopra further added:
"Their No.3 is a pain point as they weren't able to find the right candidate. Tewatia has done well in limited opportunities, but he does well while chasing and doesn't do the same while batting first."
It is worth mentioning that skipper Hardik Pandya was the top performer with the bat for them in IPL 2022. The right-hander amassed 487 runs from 15 games. Opener Shubman Gill also did a fine job, scoring 483 runs from 16 fixtures.
"I didn't expect David Miller to do so well" - Aakash Chopra on GT's finisher
GT's dynamic batter David Miller excelled as a finisher throughout the tournament. The southpaw, with his batting exploits, bailed his side out of trouble on several occasions.
Miller had a number of underwhelming stints in the IPL, but he turned things around this time around with his consistent performances.
Aakash Chopra added that he didn't expect the Proteas batter to score a lot of runs in the competition.
"I didn't expect David Miller to do so well. There's been a lot of hype around him but he hadn't lived up to those expectations in recent years. He was struggling to score runs in the last few seasons. He's made changes to his batting and it has reaped dividends."
The 32-year-old mustered 481 runs from his 16 appearances in IPL 2022. He scored a fantastic average of 68.71 along with an impressive strike rate of 142.73.