Yuzvendra Chahal, one of India’s prime spinners and once a staple in white-ball cricket has witnessed a huge decline in his appearances in the ODIs and T20Is. He lost his place in the side before the ODI World Cup last year, and though he made a return to the ODI squad against South Africa in December, he remains absent from the shortest format of the game. Yuzvendra Chahal is currently the highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League history with 187 wickets to his name.
For former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, it is hard to decode why the Indian T20I team has ignored Yuzvendra Chahal. Considering Chahal’s performance in T20 cricket and as a vital component in the Indian T20 side, Harbhajan Singh emphasized during an interview with Hindustan Times that the leg-spinner should be the first name in the Indian T20 side as they get prepared for the T20 World Cup.
“I would keep Yuzvendra Chahal ahead (for the first slot among spinners),” Harbhajan said when asked about his top-three spin picks for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies. He named Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar as the other two spinners for the Indian Team in the T20 World Cup. He said that there is no better leg-spinner in the country other than Yuzvendra Chahal.
“He is being ignored; I don’t know why. I don’t think he knows as well. But even today, I don’t think there is a better leg-spinner in the country. And I don’t think there is a braver spinner than him. He has a very sharp mind. The second spinner for me would be Ravindra Jadeja. It would help if you had an off-spinner in Washington Sundar as well. Now, what selectors think, what the management thinks, is a different thing,” Harbhajan said during a chat on the sidelines of the ILT20 in the UAE.
Yuzvendra Chahal Has A Good Record For India In T20Is
Yuzvendra Chahal last played a T20I for India in 2023 against West Indies in August. He has taken 96 wickets for India in the shortest format in 80 appearances at an average of 25.09. Chahal recorded his best figures of 6/25 against England in 2017 and was one of the main spinners for India during the 2016-2019 time period. His ignorance in the Indian t20 side is not understandable given that he has a wonderful record in T20Is for India.
Yuzvendra Chahal needs only 13 wickets to become the first-ever bowler to take 200 wickets in the IPL and only needs four wickets to complete 100 wickets in T20Is. However, his inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad is not on the cards because he has not featured in T20Is since August 2023. It will take a spectacular IPL season for him to bang on the selectors’ door and knowing his potential, one can say that he can make his way through a wonderful IPL season.
It will be interesting to see how Yuzvendra Chahal performs in the IPL 2024 for Rajasthan Royals. He has been the first-choice leg-spinner for the Rajasthan Royals and is also their leading wicket-taker for the last two seasons. He won the purple cap in the IPL 2022 where he took 27 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 19.52.