IPL 2021: "You played a kid in a must-win game" - Aakash Chopra criticizes the Rajasthan Royals' team changes against the Mumbai Indians

The Rajasthan Royals were blown away by the Mumbai Indians [P/C:]
The Rajasthan Royals were blown away by the Mumbai Indians [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has lambasted the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for blooding Kuldip Yadav in a crunch encounter against the Mumbai Indians (MI).

The Sanju Samson-led side made two changes to their playing XI for last night's IPL 2021 encounter, bringing in Yadav and Shreyas Gopal at the expense of Akash Singh and Mayank Markande.

While reviewing the RR-MI encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra hit out at the Rajasthan Royals management for fielding a rookie in such a crucial match. He elaborated:

"It was absolutely beyond my understanding why the Rajasthan Royals made changes to their team. You played Kuldip. Has he ever played T20 cricket? Nothing against the kid but there is Mumbai Indians in front of you and you played a kid in a must-win game where if you don't win, the story will change. I mean why?"

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that the Rajasthan Royals could have played Jaydev Unadkat if they wanted a left-arm seamer and Akash Singh was unavailable. Chopra said:

"Please look inwards that why you dropped Akash Singh, probably he was injured, then why have you kept Jaydev Unadkat, if you had to bring a left-arm fast bowler only, then why you didn't play him."
Kuldip Yadav becomes the 32489th left arm pacer to play for Rajasthan Royals🚶#IPL2O21 #RajasthanRoyals #KuldipYadav

Kuldip Yadav made his T20 debut in last night's Indian Premier League encounter against MI. Although the Royals lost the encounter due to a batting debacle, his inclusion was certainly questionable.

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"The Rajasthan Royals don't play the same team again and again" - Aakash Chopra

The Rajasthan Royals tend to make frequent changes in their playing XI [P/C:]
The Rajasthan Royals tend to make frequent changes in their playing XI [P/C:]

While highlighting the Rajasthan Royals' propensity to make team changes, Aakash Chopra also questioned the dropping of Mayank Markande. He explained:

"What wrong did Mayank Markande do that you have dropped him after one match? It makes no sense honestly. Some teams, they make so many changes. The last time Rajasthan played the same team in three consecutive matches, that was in 2018 or probably even before that. They don't play the same team again and again, which Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi do."
Mayank Markande was dropped after one match even when he did pretty well, what's the reason ??. Sanju should back players like all the great captain does, then only he can be a great leader. Hope his change works. #IPL2021 #RRvsMI @rajasthanroyals #CricketTwitter

The 44-year-old also said that Rajasthan Royals team management should be held accountable for their team selections and their indifferent performances. Chopra observed:

"That is where I would say that a lot of times the management has a hand in making or breaking players. If your team doesn't do well over a period of time, there also the management has a hand."

The Rajasthan Royals were handed an eight-wicket drubbing by the Mumbai Indians, with the latter chasing down the 91-run target with almost 12 overs to spare. The defeat all but ends the inaugural IPL champions' hopes of making the IPL playoffs.

Edited by Sai Krishna

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