IND vs SL: Former Indian player Aakash Chopra has expressed his displeasure over the massive changes team India made in their playing XI for the third ODI in their ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka. The commentator opined that introducing so many changes in the team for a match of the series which is almost done and dusted will put unduly pressure on the youngsters, who did not get a chance to play past only two games.
The Men in Blue had already made as many as six changes to the side for the first two ODIs of the three match-series. The team already won both the matches with a decent margin to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead. However, for the final ODI, they handed maiden call-ups to five players, Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, and Chetan Sakariya. Navdeep Saini, who has featured in eight ODIs, also got called up to the team.
He argued that such changes are understandable when it is not a second-string team and comprised of the mainstay players with the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
“To be honest, it baffles me that India has made so many changes. Because if it were to be the main side, where there is Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, etc, you make those changes it’s understandable,” Aakash Chopra said during an interaction with ESPNcricinfo.
“But when you are talking about young kids, who are just cutting their teeth into international cricket… Ishan Kishan just made his debut two matches ago, Prithvi Shaw has played as many as four One-Day games. There isn’t a lot of cricket these guys have played and now you want to change them to try somebody else. What will you find out in one game? I don’t know.”
Speaking against the ‘wholesale’ changes in the team, the commentator said that the first choice players should have been given at least three chances.
“If you played somebody first up if they haven’t done something exceptionally wrong, if they are not injured, at least give them three games. It’s not a five-game series where you want to make wholesale changes in the dead rubber,” he added.
IND vs SL 3rd ODI
Winning the toss on the final day of the series in Colombo, Shikhar Dhawan and Co. decided to bat first. Before the game got delayed due to rain, the batsmen were going well, posting 147 for 3 in 23 overs. Suryakumar Yadav and Manish Pandey were batting on the crease at 22 for 17 and 10 for 15, respectively. Debutant Sanju Samson played an impressive knock of 46 runs off 46 balls, while opener Prithvi Shaw fell short of one run from completing his half-century.
However, post the resumption of the game, the batting line-up succumbed miserably to the spinners. Except for Suryakumar Yadav, who posted 40 runs in 37 deliveries, no one could breach the individual score of 20 runs.
India got bundled up within 43.1 overs, posting a target of 226 runs. Spinners Praveen Jayawickrama and Akila Dananjaya scalped three wickets each.