Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked the team’s playing XI for the second Test match at Lord’s against England.
Chopra wants Virat Kohli and the team management to include veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the final XI after the off-spinner was dropped from the opening game.
Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur has been ruled out of the second Test match due to hamstring injury and Chopra feels only Bhuvneshwar Kumar would have been a like-for-like replacement but the Uttar Pradesh bowler is not part of the squad.
Ashwin has been in good form in the foreign conditions in the recent past. The off-spinner has a decent average of 28.11 in the English conditions and he can also contribute with the bat. Ashwin had scalped four wickets in the WTC final against New Zealand and was a bit unlucky to miss out in the opening Test.
“With Shardul Thakur getting ruled out, the combination has to change for India. There’s no player like Shardul in the world. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a similar kind of player, but he’s not there in the squad. So, I feel Ashwin should come into the XI. India should play with three pacers and two spinners,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal is available for selection after recuperating from concussion but KL Rahul had grabbed his chance in the first Test match as he had scored 84 and 26 runs in each of the innings. Thus, Chopra wants Team India to make a solitary change.
“Mayank Agarwal is available for selection but I don’t want to make any changes to the batting department. So, there’s only one change as Ashwin comes in for Shardul,” Chopra added.
Aakash Chopra’s India XI for Lord’s Test: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.