ZIM vs IND: Abhishek Sharma Potentially Making Way For Yashasvi Jaiswal In 3rd IND vs ZIM T20I Exclaims Aakash Chopra

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Young India opener Abhishek Sharma was at his best in second T20I against Zimbabwe, smashing his maiden T20I century in just his second appearance for the team. After being dismissed for a duck in the series-opener, Abhishek Sharma showed his true colors with the bat by replicating his IPL 2024 form on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Abhishek Sharma went berserk right from the get-go and opened his account with a towering maximum over deep backward square leg. He ended up scoring 100 off just 47 balls with the help of seven fours and a whopping eight maximums.

Abhishek Sharma’s rising confidence looms a major competition for Yashasvi Jaiswal in T20 format

The risks attached to Abhishek Sharma come with the territory. Four-ball duck Part of the territory. Three sixes to bring up a hundred next day Territory. Eight dots in the first 20 balls Well, that’s potentially a sign of the territory expanding. Abhishek Sharma  earned his spot in India’s T20I side after blowing the roof off of IPL 2024, where he made 484 runs at a strike rate of 204. That included 42 sixes in 16 innings and 78 boundaries in 237 balls. Also, none of his innings lasted for over 28 balls.

You know what you will get with Abhishek. It’s hit that puts all hitting to shame or, you know, that dreaded miss. It’s a dynamic that’s inherent to T20s, one that India are trying to take in their stride, to adapt to the changing demands of a fickle format and strip away the conservatism that stunted previous generations.

The seniors who won the T20 World Cup a week ago had to do a lot of work and cope with a lot of failure before things fell into place. The youngsters who have come in now don’t carry such baggage, but also can’t afford to be binary. The test Abhishek Sharma was put to at Harare demonstrated why. The pitch was far from an IPL featherbed, he didn’t have Travis Head at the other end or Heinrich Klaasen in the wings, and India were trailing 0-1 after failing to chase 116 in the first game.

India will find it tough to choose between Yashasvi Jaiswal’s seemingly effortless flamboyance and Abhishek Sharma’s uber-cool aggression at the top when they rejig their combination to make space for World Cup-winning squad members in the third T20 International against Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday.

The arrival of Jaiswal, Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube, all of whom were part of the main team during the title-winning run last month, gives the Indian team a formidable look in the most important game of the series as visitors look to press home the advantage after the booster shot of a series-levelling 100-run victory in the second match.

Abhishek Sharma potentially making way for Yashasvi Jaiswal in 3rd IND vs ZIM T20I exclaims Aakash Chopra

Abhishek Sharma, the left-handed opener, did enough to live up to his pre-series hype with a 46-ball century in only his second game and did look the part opening the innings. However, Jaiswal, with a handsome strike rate of 161 plus in 17 T20I matches, including a hundred and four half-centuries, does have the first claim to be skipper Shubman Gill’s opening partner by virtue of being the reserve opener of the first-choice T20 team.

Although rare but it is not uncommon for batters to be dropped in the very next match after a milestone innings. Case in point were Manoj Tiwary, immediately after his maiden ODI hundred against the West Indies in 2011, and Karun Nair after his triple hundred in a Test match against England in 2016. But skipper Gill is unlikely to let that happen with his best friend since their U-14 days and someone who scored his first international ton with a willow borrowed from the former.

Aakash Chopra expects India to make three changes to their playing XI for the third T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday, July 10. He reckons Abhishek Sharma might have to make way for Yashasvi Jaiswal, which might not be fair to the second T20I’s centurion. Abhishek was dismissed for a duck in the Men in Blue’s 13-run loss in the first T20I against the Chevrons. However, the left-handed opener smoked 100 runs off 47 deliveries in the visitors’ 100-run win in the second game.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that India might take the painful call of bringing in Jaiswal at Abhishek’s expense.

“Yashasvi has come. So the big question will be whether Abhishek Sharma should be left out. It will hurt me a lot. However, there are precedents. If you see whether it has happened previously, Karun Nair scored a triple hundred and was dropped. Manoj Tiwary scored a hundred and was dropped,” he said .

While acknowledging that it might not be the right decision, the former India opener added that he won’t be surprised if such a call is taken.

“There are a lot of people who were dropped after scoring a century in the last match because they were filling someone else’s place. You might see Abhishek Sharma watching the match from outside this evening. It won’t be a great thing because you are seeing him as India’s future T20 star. It won’t be right to drop him but I won’t be surprised if it happens,” Chopra observed.

India included Sai Sudarshan as an additional batter in the second T20I. Jaiswal might replace the Tamil Nadu batter in the XI if the Men in Blue persist with their batting-heavy approach.

Also Read: IND vs ENG: “Side Arm Specialists In India Need To Work Hard To Prepare Batters For Tough Times”- Abhishek Jain Gives His Invaluable Insights


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