‘The World Cup is not too far’ – Aakash Chopra’s critical verdict on India’s decision of resting Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli for 2nd ODI
Former India opener Aakash Chopra questioned India for resting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the second ODI against the West Indies, that was played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday, July 29. India, who came up with a revised lineup in the second ODI, failed to perform well and lost the game by six wickets against the hosts.
With senior batters being rested, Sanju Samson and Axar Patel were included in India’s playing XI. However, the hosts took advantage of the visitors as they bundled out India for 181 runs. Skipper Shai Hope (63*) scored an unbeaten half-century as Windies comfortably chased down the target in the 37th over.
While reviewing the match on his YouTube channel, Chopra criticized India’s new lineup. The 45-year-old said that the tourists took the West Indies too lightly which resulted in their upset. He further pointed out that the Cricket World Cup isn’t too far away either and hinting that this isn’t the right time to experiment.
“You might be wondering why Rohit and Kohli weren’t there. Was it because the opposition team collapsed in the last match? The West Indies looked extremely ordinary while batting first, so India thought they won’t play their main players, let’s experiment a little more. Could that have been the reason?
“If that was the reason, even you could have got out in one match, that your team gets bowled out for 150, like you made 181 now. So should West Indies ask Shai Hope to rest as this Indian team is very weak? That doesn’t really cut it in my opinion because the World Cup is not too far,” Chopra said.
You played eight days of cricket overall: Chopra
Aakash Chopra went on to say that resting players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to manage workload did not make sense, as not many games have taken place off late, and not many games are scheduled for India before the Asia Cup either.
“The second point could be that players need rest, that a lot of cricket is happening and workload management is required. The truth is that there was one match in June (the WTC final), two matches in July that lasted seven days, and one ODI match. So you played eight days of cricket overall (in July),” Chopra said.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further said that India don’t have any games in the 50-over format after the series against the West Indies until the 2023 Asia Cup, adding that the workload is particularly less.
“There is no ODI cricket in the entire August, except the last match of this series, but I am assuming why will you play the last match if you didn’t play this one. You didn’t bat in the first match in any case. You will straightaway play in the Asia Cup in September. So the workload is not that much if you see it from that angle,” the former cricketer concluded.