Chief selector Chetan Sharma opened up on the omission of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal from India’s 18-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
On Wednesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-member squad with the addition of three reserved players for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the October-November window in the United Arab Emirates.
Virat Kohli without any doubt will lead the Indian contingent with opener Rohit Sharma named his deputy. The most astonishing selection that stunned everyone was of Tamil Nadu spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played a T20 International game against West Indies in July 2017.
Players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy have got their first opportunity to play in a multi-team tournament and apart from Chahar, all others made their international debut this year itself.
Many big players like Shikhar Dhawan, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and T. Natarajan missed the cut but the most shocking case was of Chahal who also plays under skipper Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chahar, who impressed everyone during the Sri Lanka tour with his bowling figures, leapfrogged his counterpart Chahal for the leg-spinner’s position in the World Cup squad. According to Chetan Sharma, Chahar was preferred because of his ability to bowl quick deliveries and hence the Mumbai Indians spinner featured in the list.
“Spinners who bowl quick was our priority. Hence, we went with Rahul Chahar,” Chetan Sharma said in a virtual press conference.
Chahal along with Kuldeep has been snubbed by the Indian selectors despite the duo being regular in the white-ball format since 2017. Chahal is India’s highest T20I wicket-taker with 63 scalps from 49 matches in the shortest format, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, with 59 T20I wickets, can surpass the tally in the showpiece event.
India is clubbed with Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two more teams that will be determined through T20 World Cup Qualifiers. The Virat Kohli-led team will start their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 at Dubai International Stadium.