Former Cricketer turned commentator Akash Chopra questioned the team India’s selection for the upcoming Asia Cup tournament starting 27th August. Chopra raised questions regarding the selection of only three seamers in the squad. He believes that pacer Mohammed Shami should have been included in the 15-member squad for the T20 tournament.
India announced their squad on Monday, having fast bowlers Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the seam department. Chopra believes that Arshdeep and Kumar were certain choices, and for the third option, the race was between Avesh and Shami. He said both Avesh and Shami should have been picked as he feels that four pacers are necessary.
“My question is that the Dubai pitch and the September month, it helps the fast bowlers,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel. “There is a lot of grass on the pitch. The pitch does not change for the entire tournament; there is consistent help for the fast bowlers. We saw that in the IPL and have seen it repeatedly. So what is the issue?”
Some of the other fast bowlers who were likely to make the squad were Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah. Unfortunately, both the seamers missed out due to injury. Patel is suffering from a side strain, and Bumrah has sustained a back injury. “Where is Mohammed Shami? I felt it could have been a race between Avesh Khan and Mohammed Shami, or you could have picked both because four fast bowlers are necessary, in my opinion,” added the former Indian opener.
Chopra further said that given the way Shami performed in the Indian T20 League 2022, and for India in the past, there was an opportunity for him to make the Asia Cup squad. He picked up 20 wickets in 16 games with an economy rate of 8.00 for the Gujarat Franchise in the 2022 season.
“I think he was phenomenal. If you can bowl like that with so much experience, I thought this opportunity was there for the taking,” said the 44-year-old.