Women's Asia Cup 2022: "More of a specialist for the longer formats" - Anjum Chopra on India's Rajeshwari Gayakwad

India v South Africa - 2022 ICC Women
Rajeshwari Gaikwad is mostly considered a backup spinner in T20Is. (P.C.:Getty)

Former Indian cricketer Anjum Chopra has explained why left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad isn't the team's first-choice spinner in T20Is despite her brilliant performances in the ODI format.

Gayakwad was brilliant in India's famous win at Lord's that helped them whitewash England 3-0 in the ODI series. However, Chopra opined that fellow left-arm spinner Radha Yadav will pip her in the starting XI for the Asia Cup.

Speaking in a video on her YouTube channel, Anjum Chopra explained Yadav's all-round qualities give her the edge over Gaikwad in the shortest format. She said:

"Rajeshwari Gayakwad is more of a specialist for the longer formats. I am not saying that she doesn't play T20s well. But it's just that Radha Yadav bowls a bit flatter than her and is a complete package with her fielding and a bit of batting as well. So she is preferred ahead of Gayakwad in T20Is."

"She has performed in domestic cricket" - Anjum Chopra on Kiran Navgire being included in the Asia Cup squad

Anjum Chopra is also excited about the prospect of the explosive Kiran Navgire doing well for India in the Women's Asia Cup. Navgire hasn't had a consistent chance in the XI ever since her maiden India call-up.

Seriously! If they don't play Navgire, how she's gonna fit into the place of finisher? And she's not going to get batting in every match I assume. Better to keep her in the mix at least.…

However, the former cricketer feels that Navgire should be included in the XI because of her match-winning ability. On this, Chopra stated:

"Kiran Navgire should definitely get a chance. The selectors did a good job by making her travel with the team to England and get some exposure. She will only get better with experience. She hasn't really come out of the system but has performed in domestic cricket. I am hopeful that she starts in the XI right from the first match."

Women's Asia Cup squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sabbineni Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, K.P. Navgire.

Standby players: Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia, Simran Dil Bahadur.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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