Chopra dropped Manish Pandey for Devdutt Padikkal.
After the conclusion of the three-match ODI series that visitors India clinched 2-1, they will face Sri Lanka in three T20Is, starting July 25 in Colombo. India took many by surprise by handing out as many as five debut caps, however, with a new series starting, it is all but certain that most of the faces from the first two ODIs will return into the playing eleven.
Notably, the upcoming series is India’s last in the international circuit before they participate in the T20 World Cup 202, scheduled in October-November in the UAE. Meanwhile, before the start of the T20Is, former Indian cricket Aakash Chopra revealed his India playing eleven for the series-opener against Sri Lanka.
Chopra opted for Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw as the openers, while he also slotted in Devdutt Padikkal in place of Manish Pandey, who did not have the best of times in the ODIs. In his middle-order, the cricketer-turned-commentator chose Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson.
No place for Rahul Chahar in Chopra’s XI
“I’ll try to be fair in my playing XI. Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw are at the top. I am playing these two openers still because continuity is very important to me plus both of them have a chance to play in the T20 World Cup and are in good form.”
“Devdutt Padikkal will come at three as a replacement to Manish Pandey because the latter hasn’t scored runs in the three opportunities and I personally don’t see him in the team for the T20 World Cup. Ruturaj is on my mind but you can’t give a chance to everyone.”
“At four I have got SKY (Suryakumar Yadav), he has played some special cricket so far so you’ve got to keep him. Then I am playing Sanju Samson at five. The problem is I don’t know whom to be fair with because you first gave ODI debut to Ishan, he made a fifty, the second match he got out early so you played Sanju in the third game.”
“Ishan Kishan played the last T20I against England but here Sanju Samson played the last game and scored 46. Leaving out either of them will be unfair but I am going with Sanju because he played the last game,” he added.
“Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya will be back for me; sorry, Krishanappa Gowtham. I would love to play Varun Chakravarthy because, in the jigsaw puzzle of the Indian team, it’s only a mystery spinner that can make them more potent.”
Revealing why he preferred Yuzvendra Chahal over Rahul Chahar, he said: “Yuzvendra Chahal will partner him. I want to play Rahul Chahar but not ahead of Chahal. Finally, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.”
Chopra’s India XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Devdutt Padikkal, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar