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‘Gambhir, Sehwag are best T20 openers’

Former Indian opener Chopra on role of a quick start

Image Credit: K.R. Nayar/Gulf News
Aakash Chopra
Gulf News

Dubai: Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels that India can benefit a lot from their openers, whom he considers the best in the world, in the oncoming Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Speaking to Gulf News, Chopra said: “Opening of an innings means a lot due to a variety of reasons.

“You have to play six overs of very destructive cricket in Twenty20.”

He said if the openers could give a decent start, then a challenging total was guaranteed for the team.

“On the contrary, if the openers get out early, there is bound to be too much pressure as you cannot capitalise on those six overs and that could be the difference between winning and losing in a Twenty20 game,” said Chopra, who produced many a durable opening wicket performances with Virender Sehwag in 2003-2004.

He is in Dubai to provide tips for G Force Cricket Academy’s budding cricketers.

Chopra, who is now a highly-rated cricket columnist and author of two books, is confident about India’s openers.

“In Twenty20, I feel very confident about India’s Twenty20 openers. I would not have said the same about Test cricket. In Twenty20, Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag have done exceedingly well.

“Gambhir is more consistent in Twenty20 while Sehwag is more explosive. Though Sehwag may not fire in every game, the game in which he fires, India will definitely win,” he added.

“Our openers are definitely on par with any opening combination in the world.

“An opening combination that comes very close is Australia’s David Warner and Shane Watson. Those two are extremely explosive and have the ability to bat deep into the innings.

“So Australia’s opening combination comes close to India, which is right up there,” said Chopra, who also launched his book Out of the Blue at the India Club on Wednesday.

The book is the story of Rajasthan team’s first-ever Ranji Trophy triumph last year.

Chopra, along with a number of senior cricketers like Hrishikesh Kanitkar, inspired the youngsters to lift the team from bottom of the table to the top honours in domestic cricket.

Chopra commenced his three-day camp at the Insportz yesterday (September 13) and also launched the Cricket Lovers Club on behalf of G Force Academy.

The new website will enable everyone to update their profile and statistics, send their views and thoughts on the game.