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IND v AUS 2020: India have to play Hardik Pandya higher than No. 6, says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra wants Hardik Pandya to bat at No.5
Aakash Chopra wants Hardik Pandya to bat at No.5
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 06 Dec 2020
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Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Hardik Pandya should be batting higher up the order in today's T20I against Australia to make the best use of his form.

He made this observation while previewing today's second T20I between India and Australia in a video shared on his Facebook page.

Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the Indian team has a selection dilemma, with India A playing Australia A in a practice match on the same day as the second T20I.

"India have a problem that two matches are being played at the same time. This T20I will be played in Sydney and a warm-up match will also be played in Sydney, India A vs Australia A. This is not just the overlapping of fixtures but quite a few of our T20I players are also there in the Test team."

However, the reputed commentator added that all the T20I team regulars are likely to stay put as there is another warm-up match scheduled before the Test series.

"There are as many as two side games, so I feel the T20 players will not be going anywhere. Rahul, Kohli, Bumrah and Shami are all going to remain here only. We don't know if Shreyas Iyer is here or there. But whoever is here is going to remain here."

Aakash Chopra on India's likely playing XI for the second T20I

Aakash Chopra feels Chahal replacing Jadeja is the only likely change in the Indian starting XI
Aakash Chopra feels Chahal replacing Jadeja is the only likely change in the Indian starting XI
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Aakash Chopra observed that India is likely to make just the one change from the team that started the first T20I, with Yuzvendra Chahal replacing the indisposed Ravindra Jadeja.

"There is the scope of only one change, which already happened in the first match. I feel the same XI will play now, the one which played in the second innings of the Canberra T20I. Chahal will come in Jadeja's place and the rest of the team will remain the same."

Aakash Chopra added that he would want a change in the batting order, with Hardik Pandya playing at No. 5 ahead of either Manish Pandey or Sanju Samson. He acknowledged that it might be slightly unfair to whoever bats at No. 6.

"But Hardik at No.6, that's the question. I want him to bat at No.5 but you will be doing injustice to whoever bats at No.6, whether it is Manish Pandey or Sanju Samson."

The former KKR player reasoned that the Indian team will not derive the best benefits from Hardik Pandya's excellent form if he bats at No. 6.

"It's not ideal but if you send Hardik at No.6, that is actually detrimental and counter-productive because you have got a player who has got form and you are not sending him up the order."

Aakash Chopra also pointed out that either Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami could make it to India's playing XI.

"India can also play any one out of Bumrah and Shami."
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Aakash Chopra signed off by suggesting that India should bat first if they win the toss as their batting is not their strongest suit at the moment. He added that this will also put the pressure of the run-chase on the Aussies.

"I feel India should win the toss and bat first, the way their story is going, as their batting is looking slightly weaker. We have also seen the Kangaroos wilting under pressure."

With Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer not fielded in the warm-up match against Australia A, it would be interesting to see if India retains their top six from the last match.


Published 06 Dec 2020, 09:22 IST
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