Former Indian player Maninder Singh believes that team India’s decision to not play leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the ICC T20 World Cup was a blunder. He feels that going in with Axar Patel was a defensive approach by the Men in Blue, as they were trying to strengthen their batting.
Chahal was India’s first-choice spinner in T20Is leading up to the T20 World Cup and was supported by team management throughout bilateral series. He was anticipated to spearhead the spin attack in the competition, but he was benched in favour of Ashwin and Axar, who both provided a little extra with the bat in the lower order.
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Yuzvendra Chahal Always Gets You Wickets In The Middle Over: Maninder Singh
The lack of a wicket-taking spinner in the middle overs, such as Chahal, cost India dearly in the semi-final against England, as the bowlers appeared lost against Buttler and Hales, who went all guns blazing at the top. Opining on the same, Maninder Singh said:
“That was a blunder. If you see, every team had a leg-spinner in the side. England reached the final with a leg-spinner in their team. Pakistan had a leg-spinner who did so well and I was surprised actually because in T20 cricket we have seen leg-spinners being so successful.
Yuzvendra Chahal is an experienced bowler, we had him in the squad but we sat him on the bench. Going in with Axar Patel, was a defensive approach, trying to strengthen your batting expecting him to score some runs. But Chahal always gets you wickets in the middle overs.
He bowls to get wickets and that was what was needed in the World Cup and that is actually an important aspect in T20 as well as ODI cricket. If you have got a bowler who gets you wickets in the middle overs, that brings the run-rate of the opposition down because once you get a wicket, they have to start all over again so that was a big mistake. Yuzvendra Chahal and Rishabh Pant would have been in my squad from the first match.”
Yuzvendra Chahal has not been chosen for India’s ODI team for the match against Bangladesh. It will be interesting to see what the leg-future spinner’s holds. He bowled in just one ODI against New Zealand, surrendering 67 runs in 10 overs without picking up a wicket.