Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that Mohammed Shami should be included in the lineup for the match against Pakistan. Aakash Chopra emphasized that the team management picked Shardul Thakur for the Afghanistan match due to his batting abilities.

The Men in Blue began with three spinners in combination for their first match of the ICC World Cup 2023 against Australia. Shardul Thakur replaced Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI during India’s eight-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Delhi on October 11.

The Batting Was Not Going To Come – Aakash Chopra

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra expressed skepticism about the lower-order batter having a significant role in the match.

“There is always a discussion about whether Shardul Thakur or Mohammed Shami should be played. The team went towards Shardul. We had discussed as well that I want Shami, but the team will play Shardul because they will get batting at No. 8 from him,” Chopra said.

“I was saying the No. 8 won’t get to bat. If your No. 8 gets to bat against Afghanistan, then leave it, let it go. Someone else can play those big shots and if they don’t, you will lose and then you can say – ‘well played’. The batting was not going to come. I feel you should play Shami against Pakistan as well.”

Shardul Thakur has been preferred over Mohammed Shami for the third seamer in the 50-over format in recent times as he can add depth to the batting lineup. Shami got an opportunity to play when either Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Siraj were rested.

The Team Wants A Little Batting Depth – Aakash Chopra

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that Shardul Thakur didn’t have the ability to score quick runs in the death overs.

“Shardul is also a run-a-ball player at the position he bats . It’s not that he will score 45 runs off 20 balls. He is not that sort of a player. He doesn’t play like that. The team wants a little batting depth at No. 8, a bit of insurance and assurance and that is why Shardul is there but I feel Mohammed Shami should be there.”

Shardul Thakur has scored 329 runs in 25 ODI innings at an average of 17.31, including an unbeaten half-century against South Africa. India will face Pakistan in their next match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, October 14.

Also read: IND vs PAK: Jasprit Bumrah Should Have Been The Player Of The Match Ahead Of Rohit Sharma – Aakash Chopra

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