Cheteshwar Pujara (L) and Ajinkya Rahane. (Image source: Getty)
Former India cricketer Nikhil Chopra is of the opinion that Hanuma Vihari should have been a part of the playing XI for the Test series decider against South Africa. He suggested that the team management could have benched Ajinkya Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara to accommodate Vihari.
Speaking on YouTube channel Khelneeti, Chopra stated that if the Indian think-tank is hesitant to drop two senior batters, they could have made at least one of them sit out for the third Test.
The cricketer-turned-commentator feels that while both Pujara and Rahane scored half-centuries in the previous fixture, a youngster should not be overlooked for too long just because of a fifty. He opined that any batter would score runs at a certain point if he is given so many chances.
Nikhil Chopra said:
“I believe Hanuma Vihari should have been included. It is wise to make at least one of the two changes if you don’t want to introduce two major changes at once. They did score half-centuries in the previous game, but would you still bench a youngster because of that? Any batter would score runs if he was given so many chances.”
While Cheteshwar Pujara contributed with 43 crucial runs on day one of the ongoing Cape Town Test, Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for just 9 runs. With the middle-order failing to make an impact again, the visitors were bundled out for a below par total of 223.
“Virat Kohli does not play with any ego” – Nikhil Chopra on the Indian skipper’s gutsy knock
The cricketer-turned-commentator lauded Virat Kohli for scoring 79 runs against a formidable Proteas bowling attack. He also highlighted how the right-hander played out a tough Kagiso Rabada spell.
“Virat Kohli played at least two spells of each bowler in his innings. He knows that if Kagiso Rabada is troubling him in a spell, then he will play that spell out. He does not have that ego to look to overpower the bowler during such situations,” stated Chopra.
Chopra pointed out that Kohli did not try and overpower the bowler during such spells, and stayed defensive. He feels that the India captain did not play with any ego, and hence was able to play an impactful knock.