Aakash Chopra has highlighted that he has lost count of the number of openers Team India have used in the last year or so in T20I cricket.
With Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav taking a break, the Men in Blue opted to open with Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan in the fifth and final T20I against the West Indies in Lauderhill on Sunday, August 7. Shreyas scored 64 runs off 40 deliveries to help India register an emphatic 88-run win.
While reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra had the following to say about India's choice of openers:
"Hardik was the captain here, Rohit Sharma was not playing and Ishan Kishan got an opportunity, which is also a good thing. Shreyas Iyer got a chance to open. I have now officially lost count of how many openers India have played in the last 12 months. This time Shreyas was opening with Ishan."
Chopra pointed out that West Indies' below-par bowling aided the Indian batters in posting a massive total. The former Indian opener observed:
"Deepak Hooda came at No. 3 and Sanju Samson further down. Overall after hitting a lot, Shreyas Iyer's fifty, India reached close to 190. Odean Smith got wickets but the West Indies bowling was extremely ordinary."
It was certainly surprising that the Indian team management opted to bat Shreyas at the top of the order. They had the option to open with either Deepak Hooda or Sanju Samson, with the duo having performed that role in recent times.
"Kuldeep again asks you to keep him in the scheme of things" - Aakash Chopra
Speaking about India's defense of the 189-run target, Aakash Chopra lauded Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav for their efforts with the ball, elaborating:
"After that, Axar Patel came and picked up three wickets right at the start. He started the job from the first over itself. Then Kuldeep Yadav comes and he also does a very good job. Kuldeep again asks you to keep him in the scheme of things because he is a mighty bowler."
Chopra also praised Ravi Bishnoi for picking up a bagful of wickets. The reputed commentator said:
"He (Kuldeep) picked up three wickets and Ravi Bishnoi says that he will fill the remaining wickets in his bag and go. He picked up four wickets and West Indies were handed their fourth defeat in this series."
Chopra concluded by stating that picking a Player of the Match for the encounter is a tough ask. He added that Axar, Shreyas, Kuldeep and Bishnoi could together be given the accolade.
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