Former India cricketer-turned-commentator, Aakash Chopra has named his playing XI for Virat Kohli-led India ahead of the first Test against England, starting from February 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. While swashbuckling batsman Rohit Sharma and young gun Shubman Gill found their places in Chopra’s XI, star all-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj were left out.
Notably, Siraj was the leading wicket-taker for Team India in the four-match Test series against Australia with 13 wickets.
The 43-year-old believes that India should go with their premium pacers Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the upcoming series-opener against Joe Root-led side.
While Sharma will be returning to the Test set-up after missing the entire Australia tour due to an injury, Bumrah was ruled out of the Brisbane Test.
Talking about the possibility of Kuldeep Yadav’s inclusion in the starting XI, Chopra said, “I feel, he Kuldeep will play in the first Test because Jadeja is not there and you will play at least two spinners in India. At this point, I think you can play three.”
“You can play the same five batsmen – Gill, Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane. You can keep Pant at No.6 and Sundar at No.7, with Ravichandran Ashwin at No.8,” Chopra said in a video posted on his official Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra’s playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah