Rohit Sharma (L) and Rahul Dravid© AFP
India meet the West Indies in the third and final ODI at Trinidad on Tuesday with the series on the line. While the visitors won the opening game, the hosts restored parity in the following match-up with a six-wicket win. India rested skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the previous match and former India cricketer Aakash Chopra feels they should continue experimenting if the management thinks that’s the way forward. “If you were to look at the series for experiments, why stop? If you’re going in with the philosophy that ‘I am going to try a lot of cricketers, I’m going to give chances to the players who haven’t gotten enough game time.’ Why change? You’ve done it in the first game, you’ve done it in the second game. Just give more opportunities to the players who haven’t gotten enough in the past,” said Aakash Chopra on JioCinema.
Chopra then posed an opposing viewpoint, saying that if the team wants to maximize its chances of winning the third ODI and the series, they’ll have to bring in veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli into the line-up. “That’ll also mean the end of giving opportunities to someone like Sanju Samson or Suryakumar Yadav, one of the two will have to sit out. Axar Patel won’t get another opportunity.”
On the bowling front, Chopra does not want to see India end up using seven bowlers like they did in the 2nd ODI. “India has a lot of bowling options. With regards to fast bowlers, they have four. They played as many as three in the previous game. You don’t need seven options to play in an ODI on a surface that’s bowler-friendly.”
“On a pitch where run-scoring is difficult and bowlers are doing well, you don’t need to change much but you must also ensure you give them enough opportunities. Umran Malik bowled just three overs in the first and second games, and Axar Patel bowled only two overs in the previous game. Where you’re not able to give enough overs to the bowlers you’re picking, cut down on the resources and maybe play an extra batter,” added Chopra.
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