“Hasn’t Grabbed His Chance”: Ex India Star Names Player To Be Dropped For Virat Kohli In 2nd T20I


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Following India’s win over Afghanistan in the first T20I, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra expressed his disappointment with Tilak Varma’s recent performances, saying that he has not grabbed his opportunities fully and might have to make way for Virat Kohli and Yashasvi Jaiswal in upcoming matches of the three-match series. A half-century by Shivam Dube and a cameo by Jitesh Sharma helped India secure a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20I of the three-match series at Mohali on Thursday.

On his YouTube channel after the match, Aakash said, “After Rohit (Sharma) and Shubman (Gill) got out, Tilak Varma was there and Shivam Dube was sent up the order. Tilak Varma played well for some time but then also got out off (Azmatullah) Omarzai’s bowling. Tilak Varma has not grabbed his chance fully.”

“Will Tilak Varma play the next match? I feel he might get dropped because if both Virat Kohli and Yashasvi Jaiswal become available, who will go out? No one can leave Shivam Dube out nor will anyone touch Rinku Singh. Do not know about Shubman Gill but I feel Tilak Varma might be dropped for the next match,” he added.

In 16 T20Is so far, Tilak has scored 336 runs in 15 innings at an average of 33.60 and a strike rate of 139.41, with two half-centuries.

But following a great debut series in West Indies, Tilak’s performances have not been at his very best as he has scored just 163 runs in 10 innings at an average of 23.28, with one fifty.

Aakash Chopra was also critical of wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma’s dismissal, urging him to convert his fine starts to solidify his spot in the team, with Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson also battling for his spot as glovesmen.

” Jitesh played a good knock. Let me put my hand up and say that Jitesh played well but he will have to be mindful that he needs to finish matches because he could have done that. He is batting so beautifully.”

“If he converts his 31 runs to 45-50 and finishes the match, there would not be any doubt, because his place is not yet cemented. It is going to take some time because, for that slot, Sanju Samson is there for sure, don’t rule out KL Rahul as you might see him bat down the order in the IPL, and Rishabh Pant’s name can come if he gets fit,” he concluded.

Coming to the match, put to bat first by India, Afghanistan had a good start, with skipper Ibrahim Zadran (25 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (23 in 28 balls, with two fours and a six) adding 50 runs for the first wicket.

After Indian bowlers reduced Afghanistan to 57/3, A 68-run partnership between Azmatullah Omarzai (29 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Mohammed Nabi (42 in 27 balls, with two fours and three sixes) bringing them back into the match. A solid partnership between Najibullah Zadran (19*) and Karim Janat (9*) at the back end of the innings took them to 158/5 in 20 overs.

Axar Patel (2/23) and Mukesh Kumar (2/33) were the pick of the bowlers for India. Shivam Dube got one wicket.

In the chase of 159, India lost skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck on his return to T20Is. Shubman Gill (23 in 12 balls, five fours) showed intent but could not convert his start into a big score. A 44-run stand between Shivam Dube and Tilak Varma (26 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) brought India back into the match. Later, a 45-run stand between Shivam and Jitesh Sharma (31 in 20 balls, with five fours) took India close to a win. Dube scored his second T20I half-century, getting 60 in 40 balls with five fours and two sixes and joined forces with Rinku Singh (16*) to win the game for India.

Mujeeb ur Rahman took two wickets for Afghanistan, while Omarzai got a wicket. Dube got a ‘Player of the Match’ award for his all-round show.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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