‘You played extra fast bowler and batted first’: Chetan Sharma rubbishes India’s decision at toss vs Pakistan


India and Pakistan cricket players
Image Source : AP India and Pakistan cricket players

India’s former chief selector Chetan Sharma on Saturday criticised India’s decision to bat first in the high-octane clash against Pakistan in Sri Lanka’s Pallekele. The Indian team faced arch-rivals Pakistan to kickstart their campaign in the Asia Cup 2023 but even though rain played spoilsport, there were enough talking points from the contest. India’s top three fell apart in challenging conditions in front of a strong Pakistan bowling line-up. Meanwhile, there was some mystery regarding both the captains Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam deciding to bat first in overcast conditions.

The pitch at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium was expected to help the seamers and spinners. With overcast conditions and rain around, former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned the captain winning the toss should bowl first. However, both Sharma and Babar wanted to do the otherwise and as the former won the toss, India batted first. The Men in Blue fielded an extra fast bowler Shardul Thakur in the game. But in a show with IndiaTV Cricket, India’s former national chief selector Chetan Sharma criticised Rohit’s decision.

He highlighted that a team plays an extra fast bowler only when there is help for seamers on the pitch but batting first was not a wise decision. In a chat with India TV’s Executive Editor Samip Rajguru, he indirectly questioned the Indian team over the decision. “Why you played an extra fast bowler? You take that route when there is help for seamers on the pitch. So, you played an extra fast bowler and opted to bat first, why?” he stated in a show on IndiaTV Cricket.

He added that the team should have played Axar Patel if they wanted to bat first. “If you would have played Axar Patel, there was no problem (over the decision). The team would have banked themselves to win even after scoring 160 odd runs if as the wicket was low and slow,” he added.

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