Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Varun Chakravarthy were preferred over Chahal and Yadav, both of whom were a key part of India’s line-up until the 2019 World Cup, post which both have faded away from the first-choice eleven.
Brad Hogg explained that their exclusion was underpinned by the fact that they are more flight spinners than hit the deck, and that their low pace through the surface wouldn’t be conducive for the UAE pitches. BCCI Chief Selector, Chetan Sharma, also gave similar reasoning for the selection of Chahar over Chahal.
“I’m very surprised with the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The only reason why I think those two particular players are not in this squad is that they find it very hard to bowl into the wicket, they’re more floaty type bowlers and over in the UAE, when things are not turning, when there’s not much assistance in the pitch, you need those spinners who can bowl into the wicket,” Brad Hogg said in his YouTube video.
“If it was any place else in the world, one of those players would have been in the squad and it probably would have been Chahal.”
The Mumbai Indians spinner has also been an in-form bowler while the Royal Challengers Bangalore leggie has struggled off lately; Kuldeep has been out of sorts for the last couple of years. Earlier in the year, Chahar replaced Chahal in India’s T20I eleven during the series against England in Ahmedabad.
I think they could have gone with an extra quick and not go with Chakravarthy: Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg further contested that India could have done with picking a pacer over Varun Chakravarthy. He pointed out that India only have three frontline seamers – Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami – in the squad while they are heavy in the spin department.
“I still think you need to go with three quicks in the lineup, Jadeja and Pandya as the fifth bowler and one frontline bowler. I think they could have gone with an extra quick and not go with Varun Chakravarthy.
“You have quality spin bowling in R Ashwin, R Jadeja and R Chahar and Axar Patel as well who can do the job. I think they’ve gone too far with Chakravarthy,” the former chinaman bowler added.
Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner, was KKR’s leading wicket-taker last IPL season in the UAE and made his India debut a couple of months ago, in Sri Lanka.
India will take on Pakistan for their opening encounter on October 24 in Dubai. They will then meet New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams from the qualifiers in the Super 12 stage.
India’s 15-man squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur