Aakash Chopra has questioned the selectors' decision to replace Venkatesh Iyer with Deepak Hooda in the Indian squad for the upcoming ODI series against the West Indies.
Iyer was selected in the Indian ODI side for the tour of South Africa to play the role of a batting all-rounder. But the 27-year-old was dropped after just two ODIs. Furthermore, he was only asked to play in one of those games.
During a discussion on Star Sports' 'Game Plan', Aakash Chopra was asked if Hooda replaced Venkatesh Iyer in the Indian ODI team. He replied:
"Give a chance to anybody but if you want to give them an opportunity, please back your selection. Give them a chance for a long time because the number at which you are expecting the player to do a job, it is the most difficult number, bat at No. 6 and bowl a few overs in the middle."
The cricketer-turned-commentator also cited examples of Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakraborty, who fell off the selector's radar after the T20 World Cup. Chopra explained:
"I hope the selectors and team management are on the same page. If you talk about the World Cup, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy were your wicket-takers, at this moment you don't know their names, there is no discussion about them in the selection committee."
Neither Chahar nor Chakraborty have been selected for India's T20I series against West Indies. Yuzendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnavi, Axar Patel, and Washington Sundar are the four spinners of this team.
"You just got Venkatesh Iyer to bowl 4-5 overs in one match" - Aakash Chopra
Akash Chopra asserted that Venkatesh Air was replaced without proper opportunity. He explained:
"You played Venkatesh Iyer as an all-rounder for sure but you just got him to bowl 4-5 overs in one match and after that, you asked him to go towards T20 and that you are getting in Deepak Hooda."
The 44-year-old Fouda was also doubtful about getting a chance in the ODI series against the West Indies. Chopra deduced:
"I anyway have a doubt that you picked him but will Deepak Hooda get a place in the XI. When you have nine bowlers and have a huge squad and there are only three encounters, then everyone does not get a chance."
KL Rahul is expected to bat in the middle order after returning to ODIs for the second time as Rohit Sharma is likely to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan. With Rishabh Pant almost certain to be picked in the XI, Hooda had to fight Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and others in search of the only remaining middle berth.