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If not for Rahul Tripathi’s innings, Shubman Gill would had to accelerate more: Aakash Chopra

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra believes opener Shubman Gill would have been required to accelerate more on his way to an unbeaten 126 in the T20I series decider against New Zealand if Rahul Tripathi’s quickfire innings wasn’t there in Ahmedabad.

Gill had slammed 126 not out in 63 balls, laced with 12 fours and seven sixes at a strike rate of 200, propelling India to a massive 234/4 and setting the base for a massive 168-run victory to win the series 2-1.

Apart from him, Tripathi also shone in India’s innings, scoring a vital 44 off just 22 balls, which gave India some momentum after losing Ishan Kishan early, before getting caught off Ish Sodhi’s short ball in the ninth over.

“Shubman Gill is the sensation. He is scoring 100s and 200s left right and centre. I’ll still talk about Rahul Tripathi first because if Tripathi’s innings were not there, Gill would have to accelerate more. Earlier, he was accelerating, but after that, he took his time because of the way Tripathi was striking the ball and playing some extraordinary shots.”

“He is just brilliant. Rahul’s mentality was like the way he scored runs in the IPL and the same way he will score runs in international cricket, he doesn’t care whether this is his last chance. He came out, he expressed himself, and he won the hearts of the fans because of the template of how they played as if even if wickets fell, our boys did not stop. The bat just kept swinging,” said Chopra on JioCinema’s new daily sports show ‘Aakashvani’.

With the four Tests against Australia for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy set to start from February 9, Chopra further spoke about left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja being available for the series.

“Ravindra Jadeja is available. He recently played one Ranji Trophy match, where he also took a lot of wickets. He is already a part of the Indian team’s camp. Jadeja being fit is really important for India, and I’ll tell you why because Rishabh Pant is not there, and Shreyas Iyer may not be either.”

“Iyer has a hamstring or back injury from which he has not fully recovered. So if he is not available, we might also see Surya in the starting lineup. Also, Hanuma Vihari (fractured his right wrist in the Ranji Trophy), who is not even a part of the team. So without Jaddu, the batting becomes very weak. Jadeja being fit and Shreyas Iyer being unfit is big news for India.”