A Surprise Omission in India vs Australia
Former Indian spin maestro Harbhajan Singh has expressed his bewilderment over the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal from India’s squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia. Despite the inclusion of several relatively lesser-known players in the squad, Chahal’s absence stands out, especially with Kuldeep Yadav not featuring in the first two ODIs. Chahal boasts an impressive record of 121 wickets in 69 ODIs, with an economy rate of 5.26.
A Fall From Grace
Yuzvendra Chahal was a vital component of the Indian team that reached the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup. However, in recent times, he has lost favor in the ODI format. His last ODI appearance was against New Zealand in January earlier this year.
Harbhajan Singh expressed his profound disappointment with Chahal’s exclusion from the Australia series, suggesting that there might be undisclosed reasons behind it.
“Yuzvendra Chahal should have been here. He has not been given an opportunity. It is beyond my understanding. Either he has had a falling out with someone or said something to someone; I don’t know,” Harbhajan remarked on his official YouTube channel.
A Spin-Bowling Perspective
Harbhajan Singh also pointed out the return of spin-bowling all-rounders Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin to the Indian ODI side. He mentioned that the Indian team management may have realized their mistake in not selecting an off-spinner in the ODI World Cup squad. Facing multiple left-handed batsmen, the Indian bowlers could potentially encounter difficulties.
After missing out on the Asia Cup squad, Chahal’s chances of making it to the ODI World Cup squad appeared slim. When he was not included in the latter either, Chahal opted to play county cricket for Kent. He did play two matches in the last Ranji Trophy season for Haryana, taking three wickets. With no Test cricket experience and recent omissions from ODIs, his international career seems to be limited to T20Is for now.
The resurgence in Kuldeep Yadav’s form, who was named the Player of the Series in the Asia Cup, has further complicated Chahal’s prospects.