Former Indian cricketer and cricket expert Aakash Chopra believes that the Indian team needs to have at least one more finisher like Hardik Pandya in their white-ball playing XI.
Pandya had played a match-winning knock of 42 off just 22 balls in the second T20I at Sydney. However, he couldn’t repeat his heroics in the third T20I, as Australia beat India by 12 runs to avoid a series whitewash.
Aakash Chopra gave the example of how former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was a great finisher in his prime. But he also had the likes of Yuvraj Singh to support him while finishing the innings.
Thus, he is of the opinion that the Men in Blue cannot always expect Pandya to do the finishing job alone. According to him, they also need to find other players who will step up when the 27-year-old has an off-day.
“In team India’s golden period in white-ball cricket, there were players like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. There has never been a better finisher in world cricket than Dhoni. But even he needed help as he couldn’t do the job of finishing an innings all by himself. If you only have got one finisher in the form of Hardik Pandya, the roles and responsibilities change immensely,” Aakash Chopra told Cricbuzz.
Chasing 187 runs to win in the third T20I, Indian skipper Virat Kohli played a brilliant innings of 85 off just 61 balls. Although his strike-rate was not as great as what was required, Aakash Chopra has backed the 32-year-old by saying that it was his job to anchor the innings.
Aakash Chopra has also stressed that it is important for India to find batsmen who can score at a quicker pace while Kohli plays the role of the anchor. He feels this would reduce the burden on the 32-year-old to score the bulk of runs at a higher strike-rate.
“When you have 5-6 batsmen in a team, all have different roles. So the anchor’s role is what suits Virat Kohli and he is probably the best in the world in that role. So it is very important to have players around Kohli who score at a quicker pace,” Aakash Chopra asserted.
With the limited-overs leg done and dusted, all eyes will now shift to the longest format as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is set to be played from December 17th. The first Test between India and Australia will be played at Adelaide in a Day-Night encounter.