Aakash Chopra has suggested a couple of tactical changes Team India should make in the second ODI against South Africa.
The Indian team utilized just five bowlers in their 31-run loss to the Proteas in the first encounter of the three-match series. The Indian openers were also circumspect at the start of the innings and did not put any pressure on Aiden Markram, who opened the attack for the hosts.
"Please, I request with folded hands, get Venkatesh Iyer to bowl because if you don't want him to bowl, then why are you playing him? Then play someone else. I have full expectations of Venkatesh Iyer bowling."
While acknowledging that it will not be easy for Iyer, the former India opener added that the challenge will have to be accepted. Aakash Chopra elaborated:
"How he will bowl, I don't have an idea. We haven't seen him bowl much, to be very honest. We have seen him very limited in T20 cricket and it's not the same thing. ODI cricket is tough because five fielders are within the circle in the middle overs and that is going to be a challenge. But the challenge must always be taken."
Iyer is being considered a batting all-rounder prospect for Team India. However, the 27-year-old has been given the ball just once in the three T20Is and the solitary ODI he has played for the Indian team to date.
"Go after Markram if he comes to bowl at the start" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra also wants the Indian openers to take the attack to Aiden Markram if the part-time spinner operates with the new ball. He explained:
"Go after Markram if he comes to bowl at the start. Don't treat him with more respect than what he deserves. It does not matter even if you get out, no issues. The No. 4 batter might get to bat slightly earlier in that case but it is better to come early than to come later when you need seven runs per over."
The renowned commentator highlighted that an aggressive approach against Markram will force South Africa to alter their plans. Aakash Chopra observed:
"I would say you should attack a little. Don't allow them to save Lungi Ngidi till the 13th or 15th over. If you hit Markram at the start, they will have to get Lungi Ngidi immediately and their plans will be derailed. I want to see Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi bowl a little early. You are allowing the match to simmer."
The Indian batters allowed Markram to bowl six consecutive overs at the start of their innings for just 30 runs. KL Rahul was particularly circumspect against the off-spinner and even got dismissed by him.
Q. Will Venkatesh Iyer bowl 3+ overs in the 2nd ODI?
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