Aakash Chopra believes the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should adjust the playing conditions. North Zone substantially reduced their over rate in order to deny South Zone a victory in the Duleep Trophy semi-final. South Zone won the championship final by two wickets against North Zone.
With North Zone leading by three runs in the first innings, which might have qualified them for the finals if the match finished in a tie. Their captain Jayant Yadav made sure that they delivered their overs exceedingly slowly as South Zone got close to the mark. Chopra expressed disappointment in a video posted to his YouTube channel that there was no consequence for the dreadfully sluggish over rate, saying:
“In the match between South Zone and North Zone, one over was bowled in 10 minutes and there was no penalty. So I feel it is slightly flawed. You will have to change the playing conditions.”
Chopra went on to say that the umpires’ unwillingness to take action was a shame, adding:
“You can fine or ban the captain but the captain is from the North Zone. What will you do to him, he was not playing for his state. You will have to do something different because if you allow 10 minutes for an over to be bowled, you bowl five overs in 50 minutes, and if the umpires can’t do anything, it’s an absolute travesty.”
Despite North Zone’s delaying strategies, Sai Kishore’s 15 off 11 balls propelled his team to victory. Mayank Agarwal (54 off 57 balls), Hanuma Vihari (43 off 42 balls), Ricky Bhui (34 off 29 balls), and Tilak Varma (25 off 19 balls) also batted well for the champions. Despite South Zone’s thrilling semi-final victory, Aakash Chopra believes West Zone is the favorite to win the title, stating:
“The final will be between South Zone and West Zone. It will be a record appearance for West Zone in the finals. So they may start as firm favorites, to begin with. The match will be at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and it will be a five-day affair. Hopefully, it will last the full five days.”
In the other semi-final, West Zone beat Central Zone based on a first-inning advantage. Cheteshwar Pujara‘s 133-run second-innings knocked Shivam Mavi‘s team out of the match. They had given a 92-run advantage in the first.
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