Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has picked India’s probable playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. While KL Rahul has been ruled out, Virat Kohli won’t be a part of this Test.

Chopra wants the team management to play six specialist batters due to the absence of star players. Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill will open the innings followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer at No.3, 4 and 5 respectively.

Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha will bat at No. 6 and 7 respectively. Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel have also found place in the team.

“The biggest question is six or five batsmen. You can think about playing six batsmen because Kohli, Rohit, Pant and Rahul are not there – all your main batting is gone. So, you might want to go with an extra batsman. I will say resist the temptation, it’s okay,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Pujara at three, Rahane at four, Iyer at five. These will be your five batsmen. After that, play Jadeja at six. Jadeja can bat at six. Whichever keeper plays, it should be Saha in my opinion, keep him at seven,” he stated.

“At eight, you keep Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar at nine. Axar can also bat. So, you have a lot of batting. I think don’t compromise on the fact that you will need five full bowlers,” Chopra said.

Chopra picked Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav as fast bowlers.

“My two fast bowlers will be Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj because they will get the ball to reverse swing better than Ishant Sharma,” Chopra added.

Aakash Chopra’s Probable XI

Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj

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