Not long ago, the duo was India’s most potent spinning duo on the 22 yards. Their advent had even made it difficult for veterans like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to retain their long-earned berths in the team. But now, even the Kul-Cha pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has come under the scanner.
The Indian selectors have now overlooked the two wrist-spinners for the second successive T20 series although experts still believe that it is premature to write them off ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Chahal was more regular in the Indian side during the ICC World Cup while Kuldeep has struggled for a while now.
They played a few ODIs in the West Indies before playing in some first-class games. But yet they failed to find spots in the Indian squad for the three-match T20I series against South Africa at home. The first match of the series in Dharamsala was washed out.
Ahead of the first game, captain Virat Kohli was even heard saying that the team was trying out players like Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar in a bid to make the batting order deep so that scoring 200 runs consistently becomes easier.
However, not all experts agreed
“The idea is if you have that much depth in batting, you bat a certain way. You can’t bat conservatively if you have that kind of depth. That is what England did. They changed the template completely. They focused on batting deep as they wanted to score 400 (in ODIs) and they achieved it many times,” Times of India cited reports quoting the former Test opener Aakash Chopra as saying.
“Batting till No.8, 9 and 10 is still ambitious (as you don’t need them at all in a 20-over game), but if you are trying to score 220, it is fine.” Chopra also felt that India have to score more if they aim to compromise on their wicket-taking ability.
Kuldeep and Chahal have done well for India so far
Kuldeep and Chahal have 286 wickets in international wicket across the three formats. While the Chinaman has 155 of them, Chahal, who is yet to play in a Test, has 131 from two versions. Kuldeep, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, is the only Indian bowler to have taken fifers in all three formats.
Chopra also predicted Chahal’s comeback to the T20 team very soon. “Chahal will be back. Rahul Chahar is more of a bowler and Washington Sundar’s batting at number 8 may not be needed anyway,” he added. Chahal had a decent three-game outing for India ‘A’ against South Africa ‘A’ recently by taking seven wickets, including one fifer, in Thiruvananthapuram.
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