Former Indian cricketers Venkatesh Prasad and Aakash Chopra were involved in a war of words over the selection of batter KL Rahul. While Prasad has been a staunch critic of Rahul and his inclusion in the Test team on account of his poor record in the format, Chopra jumped into the debate when he called Prasad's tirade against Rahul an 'agenda' on his YouTube channel.
While Chopra has not responded to Prasad's statements against him, he had targetted the former medium-pacer in a Youtube video, where he referred to Prasad's criticism of KL Rahul as part of an agenda.
What happened? Prasad launched an attack against Chopra after the former batter's video where he asks Prasad to have patience and speak on facts when it comes to comparing cricketers. Prasad, taking it as a personal attack, went against Chopra on his account. "So my friend Aakash Chopra after making a vile video on YouTube this morning, where he calls me an agenda peddler, conveniently and cleverly misquotes me, removes Mayank's average of 70 at home, wants to gag views which are not in line with what he belives but wanted Rohit out," Prasad wrote on Twitter.
So my friend Aakash Chopra after making a vile video on YouTube this morning where he calls me an agenda peddle, conveniently and cleverly misquotes me, removes Mayank’s average of 70 at home, wants to gag views which are not in line with what he believes but wanted Rohit out pic.twitter.com/2HwFLMgvmd— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) February 21, 2023
What Chopra said that irked Prasad? Aakash Chopra, in his 12 minute video on his YouTube channel, said that Prasad citicising KL Rahul's selection was quite unnecessary and that in the middle of the match it's of no use.
"I am not saying KL Rahul will become Rohit Sharma. All I am saying is keep patience, till the match gets over. If there are any agenda's, lets not peddle them. Let's talk about the numbers which are there not to suit your thoughts. Point nahi hai. Pichle 3 saal me kharab nahi hai aakde yaar. Aap bata do. Dekh rahe ho aap," Chopra said.
Chopra also slammed Prasad for bringing Shikhar Dhawan into the whole conversation of selection in the Test squad saying that he is not even in the race right now. "Shikhar Dhawan ko debate me laana he sahi nahi lagta..first class bhi nahi khel raha yaar. Soch mein bhe nahi hai ki Shikhar Dhawan should be playing Test cricket. But unhe laghta hai mere agenda ko yeh pukhta taaqat milegi toh iska naam daal do..but Shikhar Dhawan Test match ki race mein nahi hai ( It is not even apt to bring Shikhar Dhawan into this whole debate. But since he (Prasad) thinks, this would make his argument strong, he has used his name. But the truth is, he is not even in the race to play in the Indian Test team.) Chopra said.
On Prasad bringing in the name of Mayank Agarwal for selection in the Indian Test squad, Chopra again said that Agarwal is a very good cricketer but his overseas record is not that impressive. " Mayank Agarwal's overseas average is 25. SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries, I have not even named so far. Because, if we leave the last 3 months, Mayank's form in the last 2 years is not good , not even in First class cricket. His name is not in the list to open the innnings," Chopra said.
Prasad brings in Rohit Sharma: Prasad, in one of his tweets, targetted Chopra for once criticising Rohit Sharma's selection into the Test team over Ajinkya Rahane. In an old tweet, Chopra had said: " Rahane doesn't make it to the XI. And talented Rohit Sharma does."
However, in his video yesterday (February 21), Chopra was praising for Rohit Sharma and even said that Rohit proved himself at a time when his overseas average was not good. "When Rohit started opening in ODI matches, his average in last 30 matches was not 30 but it was 20-22. But, the management wanted to test him by allowing him to open. When he was asked to open in Test cricket, mujhe nahi pata bhai sahab tab kahan they (pointing at Prasad) (I don't know where he was ) it looked like he might not make it as his test records were not good, but the rest is history," Chopra said.
When will this end? When Chopra saw the anger of Prasad, he tried to calm him down saying that Venky bhai, messages are lost in translation. "You here. Me on YouTube. I invite you to come to chat...we can do it live. Difference of opinions is nice..lets do it properly," he tweeted.
Prasad reacted strongly to this saying that there is no message lost and that in his 12 minute video, Chopra did call him an agenda peddler. " It is crystal clear. And I have made my points very clear in this Twitter thread. Don't wish to further engage on this," Prasa said.
He also went on say that "He has no agenda against any player but calling contrary views as apna personal agenda and Twitter par mat laayen is funny for Aakash Chopra, considering he has made a great career by airing his views."
I have no agenda against any player, maybe there are others who have. Difference of opinion is fine but calling contrary views as apna personal agenda and Twitter par mat laayein is funny for @cricketaakash , considering he has made a great career by airing his views.— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) February 21, 2023
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While Chopra indeed called Prasad as agenda peddler, it seems that this spat off the field is not going to settle anytime soon and we might see more of this in the future. It also depends on whether KL Rahul plays in the third Test against Australia that starts from March 1.
Meanwhile, you can check Aakash Chopra's 12-minute video to see what he said against Prasad. Watch it here: