Aakash Chopra made a controversial claim ahead of Friday (October 1) night’s IPL 2021 encounter in Dubai.
Chopra claimed that had Shakib also been from New Zealand like Seifert, he would’ve made the KKR playing XI against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Dubai.
Notably, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is KKR’s head coach and is obviously an influential voice behind KKR’s decision-making.
“If only Shakib were a Kiwi…,” Chopra tweeted as the KKR camp was seen handing Seifert his debut IPL cap.
If only Shakib were a Kiwi… #IPL2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 1, 2021
Aakash Chopra’s ‘Kiwi’ bias claim offends fans
However, it would be far-fetched to suggest that McCullum showed bias towards his countrymen in playing Seifert ahead of Shakib.
Some fans found it disrespectful towards McCullum, who was undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s finest players and captains and also argued that Chopra is being nasty on KKR only because of his fall out with the franchise in the past.
It is justifiably arguable that in playing Seifert instead of Shakib and fielding only four specialist bowlers, KKR left themselves a touch unbalanced.
But a hint from Aakash Chopra that there was some bias in play behind the move wasn’t quite right and understandably it wasn’t taken lightly by Twitterati.
Here is how Aakash Chopra’s tweet was received:
Lockie didn't play a single game while Cummins wqs there in the first half. https://t.co/vaQq10Phtl
— Sarah Waris (@swaris16) October 1, 2021
This man is again targeting #KKR !! You played for 1 franchise luckily & it was kkr!! They threw you out & now criticising Morgan since day 1 and all the decisions being made!! You weren’t good in cricket & the same goes for your shit commentary @KKRiders @Eoin16 @Bazmccullum https://t.co/EUTkroP7XD
— Hrithik Varshney (@therealhrithikv) October 1, 2021
Kiwi Tim Seifert is getting his IPL debut today. He had to wait for almost 2 seasons to get it. Kiwi Lockie Ferguson hasn't played as many matches as he should have played.
What is this logic? 🙄
— 𝙨𝙤𝙝𝙤𝙢 ᴷᴷᴿ (@AwaaraHoon) October 1, 2021
Not so good stats as a batter for Shakib
— Suhit Data (@ImSDataa) October 1, 2021
What is wrong with you? Why do you always target KKR, be it on Twitter or during commentary??
— JashmeetPanda (@Panda99Jashmeet) October 1, 2021
You didn't questioned Kohli for not playing Chameera or Rohit for dropping Ishan but continously taking dig at OS captain Morgan. Be fair atleast. https://t.co/8TQgjhujrI
— Monika (@Lostt_Soulll) October 1, 2021
The Kiwi who’s the best fast bowler in their squad needed Cummins to be unavailable to get a game. But hey, why let facts get in the way of your agenda, Aakash? https://t.co/ApI7gO49FG
— Aaditya Narayan (@AadityaN_28) October 1, 2021
Is this guy really lost his mind.
Hatred has gone to his head now.
You are anylst for what !
So you think #KKR should have played 3 spinners at #Dubai ??
Did you really played cricket,i am starting to have my doubts now.#KKR #KKRvPBSK #IPL2021 https://t.co/6mCBPvcwOM
— Abhi Shukla (@abhirockstar09) October 1, 2021
Shakib hasn’t featured yet for KKR during the UAE leg of IPL 2021, having played only three games in the Indian leg. In those three matches, the Bangladeshi all-rounder had made just 38 runs at a strike-rate of 97.43 and took only 2 wickets with an economy rate of 8.10.
Seifert, the New Zealand wicketkeeper and batter, has played 35 T20Is with 695 runs at a strike-rate of 133.14.