Aakash Chopra has put forward his preferred Indian playing XI for the T20 World Cup encounter against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The cricketer-turned-broadcaster said India should bring back Suryakumar Yadav in place of Ishan Kishan if the former is fit. Aakash Chora added that if Yadav is not fit then Kishan should move to the middle order to make way for Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to take up the top three positions again.
Speaking in a short clip on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said:
"You don't generally talk about 'contest' in this clash. But the 'context' is so huge that we can't digest another defeat. We have to win and by a big margin. What will be my playing XI for India? I am going to make a few changes. If SKY (Surykumar Yadav) is available then play him 100% for Ishan Kishan. Even if he's not available bring Ishan Kishan down the order a bit. Your troika of top-three should be the same - Kohli, Rohit and Rahul."
India's move to open with Kishan against New Zealand turned out to be a flop. The youngster failed to provide the required blitz at the top and Rohit and Kohli's demotion in the batting order crippled their natural game as well. India could only manage 110, losing the match by eight wickets.
Aakash Chopra also called for leg-spinner Rahul Chahar's return to the team in place of mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, while also asking the Indian team to show more courage and intent against Afghanistan. He said:
"Then in the bowling department, I feel you should look at Rahul Chahar instead of Varun Chakravarthy. Everything else is pretty decent I think. Just play with a bit more intent, courage, and freedom and win this match."
Varun Chakravarthy came to the tournament with the reputation of an 'X-factor' by being the best bowler for finalists Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021. However, he has struggled to find his wicket-taking ability here so far.
Aakash Chopra's India XI for Afghanistan match
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Complete XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Suryakumar Yadav/Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar.