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‘Why Are You Playing Him?’: Aakash Chopra Wonders Why Allrounder Didn’t Bowl a Single Over

Last Updated: August 07, 2023, 12:06 IST

India suffered another close defeat. (AP Photo)

India suffered another close defeat. (AP Photo)

India trail 0-2 in the five-match T20I series and are now in a must-win situation.

With India suffering successive defeats in the ongoing T20I series against West Indies, questions are being asked about Hardik Pandya’s captaincy, especially in the second match which slipped out of their hands in dramatic fashion.

Defending 153, India had reduced West Indies to 32/3 before Nicholas Pooran counterattacked to bring his team back in the contest. Pooran’s dismissal on 67 followed by a another mini collapse saw the tourists roaring back but West Indies managed to get over the line with seven deliveries to spare.

The 16th over, bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, turned it around for India as the leggie landed two blows in it after the run out of Romario Shepherd.

Interestingly, Chahal had an over left but wasn’t bowled again leaving former India opener Aakash Chopra baffled.

“West Indies were running away with the match when Nicholas Pooran was batting. The moment he was dismissed, India had a chance and then Yuzvendra Chhal turned it around,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“It seemed India will be able to win but that wasn’t the case. Chahal didn’t come to bowl again. When you are defending a total, 19th over is more important than the 20th. If the runs and wickets are less, 18th over also becomes crucial. Chahal could have bowled the 18th over and 100 per cent should have bowled the 19th over. Surprisingly, nobody asked Hardik Pandya in the post-match chat why the decision was made,” he added.

Chopra also wondered if Axar Patel is playing purely as a batter since he didn’t get to bowl a single over during the match.

“Surprisingly, Axar Patel didn’t bowl at all. If he’s not going to bowl, then why are you playing him? Sixth bowler hasn’t bowled at all. Axar bowled just 2 overs in the previous match, didn’t bowl in the second. Is he playing as batter?” Chopra said.

Chopra was all praise for Pooran for his match-winning knock and said there aren’t many players in the world currently capable of batting with the same tempo as the Windies star.

“Nicholas Pooran goes berserk at the start and then starts building his innings. He has maintained this form and tempo which speaks volumes how special he is as a player. Only Suryakumar Yadav is one batter in the Indian team that was batting in such form and manner. Others are good but very few players at this point in the world posses this kind of destructive quality. Nicholas Pooran is certainly one of the best,” Chopra said.

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