Sanjay Manjrekar and Yuzvendra Chahal
Sanjay Manjrekar and Yuzvendra Chahal (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed his surprise over the inclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal in the ODI squad for the South Africa tour. Manjrekar said India’s seam-bowling department has been good with the return of Deepak Chahar and Avesh Khan.

Yuzvendra Chahal has returned to India’s ODI squad after being excluded from both the Asia Cup and the 2023 World Cup. The right-arm leg-spinner is part of the squad for the upcoming three-match series, alongside Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, and Kuldeep Yadav.

Yuzvendra Chahal Was More Bowler For T20 Cricket – Sanjay Manjrekar

During a discussion on the Star Sports show ‘Game Plan,’ Sanjay Manjrekar was not impressed with Yuzvendra Chahal’s inclusion, considering him more suited for T20 cricket.

“I like it. Again this is workload management, but I am excited with the fact that Deepak Chahar is back because I like him as a cricketer. Avesh Khan gets another opportunity,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.

“I believe Mukesh Kumar is a sturdy and dependable bowler, he has come. Chahal is a surprise inclusion. I thought Chahal was more your bowler for T20 cricket but there they have got somebody like a (Ravi) Bishnoi,” he added.

A Big Promotion For Rinku Singh – Sanjay Manjrekar

The cricketer-turned-commentator expressed delight over the selections of Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, and Sanju Samson in India’s batting lineup. However, Manjrekar highlighted the challenges they will face against the formidable Proteas in white-ball cricket.

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“Rajat Patidar – really happy to see him fit and raring to go. A big promotion for Rinku Singh. He has now become a part of ODI cricket. I saw Sanju Samson playing ODIs against South Africa in India and I got slightly excited there as well, that he is a good option,” Manjrekar further stated.

“I am always excited when I see India’s second string or next-generation players. It seems like it is a very strong team but the problem is that South Africa are a formidable team in white-ball cricket and bilateral series. So it will be a stiff test but this team is very good,” he concluded.

India faced a 3-0 defeat in their previous away ODI series against South Africa in 2024. The Men in Blue’s only ODI series triumph in the Rainbow Nation occurred in 2018, where they secured a 5-1 win.

ODI squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (C & wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar.

Also read: Why Is KL Rahul Not A Part Of India’s T20 Squad? Sanjay Manjrekar Drops A Truth Bomb

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Saikrishna Vaitla is an author at Cricketaddictor has been working since September 2022.