‘Wonder why Prithvi Shaw isn’t a part’ - Aakash Chopra on India’s T20I squad in NZ

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra questioned Prithvi Shaw’s exclusion from India’s ongoing white-ball tour of New Zealand, while also trying to dissect various other selection calls.
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“This is THE opportunity to play the guy who’s naturally destructive”

Aakash Chopra wondered about the various selection calls made by India for their T20I squad on the ongoing New Zealand tour, questioning Prithvi Shaw’s exclusion while also addressing that a few other players might have to bat out of position.

India have named Hardik Pandya as the captain for the three-match T20I series, the first of which was washed out in Wellington on Friday, November 18. The series has been viewed as an opportunity for India to make another fresh start, following their disappointing semi-final exit from the recent T20 World Cup 2022.

Chopra, though, pointed out the key areas of concerns he viewed in terms of selections.

“The more you look at the current India squad for the #NzvInd series, the more you wonder why Prithvi Shaw isn’t a part of it. You want to change the style of play in PP overs, this is THE opportunity to play the guy who’s naturally destructive,” the former India Test opener tweeted.

“Also, Indian selectors will have to take a call with regards to picking the IPL performers. All of them bat in the top-3 but for India, we want them to play a radically different role. How’s that fair?

“An example of picking players based on IPL performances & then asking them to perform a different role…and then drop them completely after failing in the IPL (while playing a different role). Meet Ventakesh Iyer. Opened for KKR. Got picked as a finisher…and then dropped!!!”

Chopra further reiterated his views on Shaw, while speaking on his YouTube channel. Shaw has been in fine form across various domestic competitions in recent times, and aggregated 332 runs at a strike-rate of 181.42 in Mumbai’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022 triumph earlier this season.

"Is Shubman Gill your all-three format player or a T20 specialist? If he is not a T20 specialist and you want to write a new story, then Prithvi Shaw should have probably been there."

Chopra further tried to decode Sanju Samson’s batting position in India’s starting XI.

"You have selected Sanju Samson but where will you play him, because if Shreyas Iyer doesn't play at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav doesn't play at No. 4 and Hardik doesn't play at No. 5, where will they play?” he stated.

"Suryakumar Yadav should not go below No. 4, Iyer should not go below No. 3 or No. 4 and Hardik shouldn't go below No. 5. The earliest place available for Sanju Samson is No. 6 but he might not be useful there. You can play Deepak Hooda there, although most of Hooda's runs have also come at the top of the order."

As for the pace attack, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh could be the definite starters, thereby minimising chances for Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj.

"Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj are a part of your team but will you be able to play either of them? The question is that Arshdeep and Harshal are automatic choices because Harshal was part of the World Cup also and provides batting as well,” Chopra remarked. “I feel you will not be able to use the extra pace of Umran Malik and Siraj."

The second New Zealand vs India T20I will be played at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday, November 20.