IND vs NZ: Akash Chopra expects a big century from Rohit Sharma in the third ODI

Akash Chopra Rohit Sharma will be hoping for a big century if the Indian skipper reaches three figures in the inconclusive third ODI against New Zealand.

The final match of the three-match series will be played at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday, January 24. The match will be of academic interest as the Men in Blue have already clinched the series with wins in the first two ODIs.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image credit: AFP

Akash Chopra feels that Rohit Sharma will play as a century for him and he can score a huge run

In a video shared on his YouTube channel Akash Chopra A reflection of possible changes in India’s XI.

Former India batsman thinks Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be open, elaborates: “Rohit Sharma will play, he has a century left. Will Rohit Sharma make a century today? I think he will do it today. A century can come on this ground and if he does, it will be a huge one, it will be 150-170. Shubman Gill is not taking the name of getting out, so he will also try not to get out again.”

Akash Chopra
Akash Chopra (Image Source: Twitter)

Akash Chopra thinks Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan will also retain their spots, argues: “Virat Kohli’s series was a bit cold. So he will want to score big. Ishan Kishan was not out in the last match and got out in the previous match. He will not get chance again as KL Rahul is married now, he will be available in the next series and he will play opposite Ishaan Kishan.

Virat Kohli has managed just 19 runs in his two innings so far and has been dismissed by Mitchell Santner both times. Ishan Kishan was dismissed for five in the first ODI at Hyderabad and scored an unbeaten 8 off just nine deliveries in the second ODI at Raipur.

In the last few innings, Rohit Sharma scored 27 and 51* (against Bangladesh), 83,17, and 42 (against Sri Lanka), 34 and 51 in the first two New Zealand vs IND ODIs. His last ODI century came against Australia in January 2020. Since that ODI sen in 2020, Rohit Sharma has played 16 ODIs and managed 5 fifties during that time, but his century column is zero. He started many times but could not score a century.

Akash Chopra feels Hardik Pandya may be rested and personally favors Omran Malik to play in third ODI

Having already won the series, India will look to test their bench strength in the third and final ODI against New Zealand in Indore on Tuesday. India are likely to rest vice-captain Hardik Pandya, pacer Mohammad Siraj and Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Hardik Pandya will lead India in the T20Is and both Mohammad Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav are expected to play a big role in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar (India vs Australia) series starting on February 9.

Akash Chopra feels Hardik Pandya can be rested for inconsistent play, explaining: “If you want for workload management, you can rest Hardik Pandya because after that you have three back-to-back T20Is immediately from the 27th where Hardik will be the captain. So you can tell him to take a break here and you can handle it. You can take that thought and play your reserves.”

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Credit: Twitter)

Akash Chopra wants Umran Malik to replace Shardul Thakur but added that the Indian team may not be able to make that change, saying: “I don’t think there will be any other changes as you will be playing Shardul Tagore. You like him and you need batting depth too. Otherwise I would have personally played the role of Omran Malik. If the field was so small I would give up my batting and try to play extra bowlers. But will the Indian team do it? I have no idea.”

If the team management wants to stick with Shardul Thakur, then Omran Malik can play the last ODI in place of Mohammad Shami or Mohammad Siraj. Hardik Pandya can play as a pure batsman if he needs to handle the workload as he wants to stay in the runs before the T20 against the same opposition.

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