T20 World Cup: "Rahul is running better than Rohit and Virat" - Aakash Chopra on his wishlist for Team India from the IND-ENG encounter

Aakash Chopra wants KL Rahul to open for Team India
Aakash Chopra wants KL Rahul to open for Team India
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has shared his wishlist about Team India ahead of the T20 World Cup warm-up game against England. It includes KL Rahul batting at the top of the order alongside Rohit Sharma.

The 15-member Indian squad has multiple opening options in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. Virat Kohli had also expressed his wish to bat at the top of the order after the last match of India's home series against England.

While reflecting on India's opening conundrum, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Rahul is in better touch than Sharma and Kohli. He elaborated:

"The first thing is the batting order, who is going to open? Last time when they played, Rohit and Kohli had opened, and both had hit a lot and the talk started to make them open because Rahul was not making runs at that time. But now Rahul is firing. He is not walking; he is running and running better than Rohit and Virat."


While picking Sharma and Rahul as his two openers, Aakash Chopra has the following expectations from the duo:

"So, please get Rohit and Rahul to open. Virat Kohli at No.3, I want to see how Surya is batting. I want the carefree and fearless approach from Rahul. I want the big innings from Rohit because he is only showing the trailer, we haven't seen the picture for a long time in white-ball cricket."
"For me, the key to success of India's batting lies in the Top 3. Rohit Sharma is a gun player, he has a brilliant record at the ICC events in the past. We need Rohit, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul to bat through to 15 overs and lay the platforms." - Suresh Raina (On ICC Column)

KL Rahul brought his explosive side to the fore in the Punjab Kings' last match of IPL 2021 against the Chennai Super Kings. Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, got off to starts, but did not play substantial knocks in the UAE leg of the tournament.

"That's my big question" - Aakash Chopra on Hardik Pandya's ability to bowl

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Hardik Pandya's bowling is key for Team India.
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Hardik Pandya's bowling is key for Team India.

While naming Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya as his finishers, Aakash Chopra highlighted the question marks about the latter's ability to bowl, though. He said:

"Virat Kohli should continue playing the way he is playing. He anyways plays very well in the World Cup. I will keep Rishabh Pant at No.5, Hardik Pandya at No.6, and that's my big question - Hardik Pandya's bowling."

The 44-year-old added that India's balance will be compromised if Pandya can't roll his arm over. Aakash Chopra pointed out:

"If Hardik Pandya is bowling, we are all happy. You will have to change your batting order entirely if Hardik Pandya is not bowling. How will you do that, I am unable to understand."

Aakash Chopra concluded by saying that Team India will have a formidable look if Pandya is at his best both with bat and ball. He reasoned:

"Hardik Pandya at No.6 is only possible if you get him to bowl and he scores runs because he has not scored runs. If he is there at No.6 and Jaddu at No.7, you will have six bowling options and two rocket batsmen at No.6 and No.7."
"For me, Hardik Pandya gets into India's Playing XI in T20 World Cup Only if he does proper bowling in both warmup games, not only in the Nets." - Gautam Gambhir (On Star Sports)

Team India will have their task cut out if Pandya can't bowl. They would either have to bat Ravindra Jadeja at No.6 if they want an extra bowling option or hope that the five frontline bowlers would do the job.

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Q. Is KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma the ideal opening combination for Team India?



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Edited by Bhargav
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