"You will need the wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav against Pakistan" - Aakash Chopra on India leaving out spinner in 2024 T20 World Cup win vs Ireland

South Africa v India - 2nd T20I
Kuldeep Yadav was ignored for India's T20 World Cup opener against Ireland.

Aakash Chopra has expressed disagreement with India's decision to leave Kuldeep Yadav out of their playing XI in their 2024 T20 World Cup win against Ireland in New York on Wednesday, June 5. He urged the Indian think tank to include the wrist-spinner in the XI in their next group game against Pakistan at the same venue four days later.

Despite Kuldeep's absence, India bundled Ireland out for 96 after opting to bowl first. The Men in Blue chased the target down with eight wickets and 46 deliveries to spare to start their campaign with a win.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra wasn't convinced about India's decision to drop Kuldeep and opined that the wrist-spinner needs to be played against Pakistan.

"They had to bowl first after winning the toss. There is no doubt about that. You didn't play Kuldeep Yadav. When we were playing in January against Afghanistan, we had never thought Yashasvi (Jaiswal), Rinku (Singh) and Kuldeep (Yadav) wouldn't be in the XI wherever you play. All three weren't part of the XI," he said (1:30).
"Rinku was decided first, then Yashasvi, and after that, Kuldeep was decided here because you had to play three fast bowlers and needed a batter at No. 8. I personally don't subscribe to this opinion. I feel you will do this in the next match as well and if you do that, you will regret a little because you will need the wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav against Pakistan," the former India opener added.

Chopra observed that India might have to make a fast bowler sit out to accommodate Kuldeep in the playing XI against Babar Azam and company.

"I have no idea how the pitch can be improved overnight" - Aakash Chopra

The New York pitch posed a huge challenge to all batters.
The New York pitch posed a huge challenge to all batters.

Aakash Chopra concurred with Michael Vaughan's views and criticized the overly bowler-friendly New York pitch.

"You are not doing right if you are making pitches in a World Cup which are too lop-sided in favor of the bowlers. I have no idea how the pitch can be improved overnight. I don't think this square can become proper so early because we saw Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Ottniel Baartman's team first in the Sri Lanka-South Africa match," he said (3:25).
"Now we went to another pitch on the same square where the India vs Bangladesh game was played, it seemed like the pitch would be flat but that wasn't the case. These are difficult pitches to bat," the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

Chopra concluded by expressing delight about India beating Ireland. He pointed out that it was a potential banana skin game on a difficult pitch.

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