Former Indian cricketer turned expert analyst, commentator, and pundit Aakash Chopra has lashed out at those young Indian cricketers who are constantly snubbing to feature in the ongoing edition of Ranji Trophy 2024. Chopra urged those youngsters to learn from outcast veteran batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who are still grinding themselves in the domestic circuit despite being dropped from the Test team 8 months ago.

Both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane along with veteran pacer Umesh Yadav were axed by the Rahul Dravid-led management from the Test side following the Indian team’s 209 run loss against Australia in the 2021-2023 World Test Championship final at the Oval in June last year and they haven’t returned to the side since then.

Since that heavy loss which had proved to be another squandered opportunity to claim ICC silverware since 2013, Pujara was replaced by youngster Shubman Gill at number 3 while the middle-order remains a mystery following Rahane’s departure.

The team management then trusted Shreyas Iyer for that number 5 role but his inconsistency and inability to score runs against strong opposition has been a point of major scrutiny which has ultimately resulted in the Mumbaikar being dropped from the side for the last 3 Tests against England.

Despite the snubs, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are still working hard in the Ranji Trophy with a glimmer of hope that they can stage a return to the national side, something a couple of youngsters like Ishan Kishan and a few others are reluctant to do.

That has infuriated Aakash Chopra who believes that youngsters should not rely upon their IPL contracts to land a spot in the Indian team.

“I am hearing that a lot of youngsters are not playing. They don’t play at all because their names have already come in the IPL. People have started thinking that they would be selected if they do well in the IPL, which is not a good thing, because Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are still playing.” – Aakash Chopra said on his latest YouTube video. 

“You Will Only Be Considered When You Go And Play”, Aakash Chopra Pleads Youngsters To Feature In Ranji Trophy

Aakash Chopra went on to make a possible dig towards another outcast wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan who has been dropped from the Indian team for the entire India Vs England Test series after he asked for a mental health break during India’s recent tour of South Africa was then spotted partying in Dubai.

Kishan is yet to make himself available for Jharkhand to play in Ranji Trophy 2024 with Chopra stating that if any player is waiting to get back in the team without being active in the domestic circuit then the selection committee must act against it.

“If first-class cricket is happening and if you are fit and are not part of the Indian team, go and play. If someone feels that he will return without playing, a strong message has to be sent that you will only be considered when you go and play.” – Aakash Chopra concluded. 

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