Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has come out in support of KL Rahul, who is facing criticism for his low score in the first Test against Australia. Chopra said that Rahul should not be dropped from the team and that he is being targeted unnecessarily. He also expected Cheteshwar Pujara to have a good game in his 100th Test.
Chopra, who is now a popular commentator and analyst, shared his views on his YouTube channel ahead of the second Test in Delhi. He said that he did not see much scope for change in the Indian batting lineup, except for Shreyas Iyer replacing Suryakumar Yadav. He also said that Rahul deserved to keep his spot as the opener, despite the presence of an in-form Shubman Gill on the bench.
“I don’t see much scope for change in the Indian batting. Only one – Shreyas Iyer will come and Suryakumar Yadav will go. A little pressure has been created on KL Rahul. I hope he has a good match because the guy plays well and people are unnecessarily targeting him,” Chopra said.
“I know Shubman (Gill) is sitting outside but the incumbent player does not become bad because someone is sitting out. It is Cheteshwar Pujara’s 100th Test, so I am expecting him to have a good game,” he added.
Pujara, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2010, will become the 13th Indian to play 100 Tests if he features in the Delhi Test. The dependable batsman has scored 19 centuries in Tests, all of them overseas. He had a poor outing in Nagpur, where he was dismissed for 4 and 1 by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins respectively. However, Chopra hoped that Pujara would bounce back and make his milestone a memorable one.
The second Test between India and Australia will start on Friday, February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. India lead the four-match series 1-0 after their dominant win in Nagpur, where they scored 602 for 5 declared and bowled out Australia for 235 and 91.