Chahal's Absence from India's T20I Squad, According to Harbhajan

Harbhajan Singh shares insights on Yuzvendra Chahal's absence from India's T20I squad, emphasizing the leg-spinner's importance for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Gobind Arora
Published on: 21 Jan 2024 8:42 AM GMT
Harbhajan Singh

Chahal's Absence from India's T20I Squad, According to Harbhajan

As India wraps up its T20I series against Afghanistan, questions arise about the absence of Yuzvendra Chahal from the squad. Former cricketer Harbhajan Singh, in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, expresses bafflement at Chahal's omission and stresses his importance for India in the T20 World Cup. Let's dive into the insights and predictions shared by the spin maestro.

The final T20I series against Afghanistan marked the return of key players, including captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli after a 14-month hiatus in the format. The absence of regular T20I players like Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav due to injuries created opportunities for other players to shine. Notably, the spin trio of Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, and Washington Sundar showcased their prowess, with Axar standing out with impressive performances in the first two matches.

However, one prominent spinner missing from the action is Yuzvendra Chahal. Once a staple in India's white-ball squads, Chahal has experienced a decline in his presence over the past year, losing his place in the ODI World Cup last year and remaining absent from the T20I side. Harbhajan Singh finds it challenging to decipher the reasons behind Chahal's exclusion and emphasizes the leg-spinner's indispensability.

In an exclusive interaction during the DP World International League T20 (ILT20) in the UAE, Harbhajan Singh shares his top-three spin picks for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies. According to him, Yuzvendra Chahal should lead the spin department, followed by Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar. Harbhajan underscores Chahal's courage, sharp mind, and unparalleled leg-spin skills, making a strong case for his inclusion in the T20I squad.

Harbhajan emphasizes the vital role spinners will play on pitches in the USA and West Indies, similar to conditions in the subcontinent. He advocates for the inclusion of at least three spinners in the squad to ensure a well-rounded and effective bowling attack.

Addressing the debate around the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Harbhajan presents a different perspective. Despite concerns about potential disruptions to the established batting order, Harbhajan believes that experience is crucial in a World Cup squad. He argues that the inclusion of seasoned players adds depth and resilience, essential qualities in high-pressure tournaments.

Looking ahead to India's Test series against England, Harbhajan dismisses England's aggressive 'Bazball' approach, asserting that Indian pitches will pose significant challenges. He predicts that the conditions will favor spinners from the first day, making the toss crucial. Harbhajan expresses skepticism about England's chances unless there's minimal assistance for spinners.

In conclusion, Harbhajan Singh's insights shed light on the enigma surrounding Yuzvendra Chahal's absence and offer valuable perspectives on India's team composition for the upcoming T20 World Cup and Test series against England.

Gobind Arora

Gobind Arora

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