Sidhu favours Aakash Chopra as opener

Published: Sunday, July 11, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Thiruvananthapuram:Former Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday expressed himself in favour of the continuance of Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra as the opening pair for India in Tests.

Asked about the controversy on the issue, he said with Yuvraj Singh in the team, the management could take appropriate decisions to change openers "looking at the turns in each game".

He said the Sehwag-Sachin Tendulkar opening pair in One-day games need not be changed. Here also another experienced player like Sourav Ganguly was there as an option.

"You are misconstruing the whole issue. What we should do is to concentrate on three openers," he said.

Sidhu, who is now a BJP MP and cricket commentator, said he did not think that Rahul Dravid was enjoying his role as wicketkeeper in One-dayers and lauded Parthiv Patel's inclusion in the team for Asia cup.

"We need a batsman-cum-specialist wicketkeeper like Adam Gilchrist. With more exposure, Patel can grow himself into that mould," he said.

On the grading system to be introduced for payment to cricketers, he said while fixing grades, performance should also be counted along with seniority. "Grading should not be based merely on age and experience," he said.

Asked how he was adapting to the new innings in politics, he said, "You cannot have a six on the first ball. You have to take singles and move on to fours".

On what his ultimate love was, he said, "My ultimate love is to see my nation at the top, for which I contribute a small speck from sports or politics".

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