‘A match-winner will always get preference’: Ravi Shastri on bringing back Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal in T20Is
India spin duo Kuldeep Chahal and Yuzvendra Chahal were not picked in the T20I series against South Africa. All-rounders Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja were included in the side. Skipper Virat Kohli explained the team’s decision, at the press conference before the start of series, and said that the decision was taken because the team was looking to have a longer batting line-up. But despite having plenty of batting options in the death, India’s performance in the 3rd T20I in Bengaluru, left a lot to be demanded.
India mustered 134/9 in 20 overs, and South Africa chased completed the chase with 9 wickets in hand and 3.5 overs left. Coach Ravi Shastri was questioned by Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview on whether the team will back the attacking options of Kuldeep and Chahal, or continue to go with bowlers who can bat to add depth in the lower order.
READ FULL INTERVIEW: ‘Rishabh Pant is special, will back him to the hilt,’ Ravi Shastri
In his reply, Shastri said that the selectors will always back players who can be match-winners. “Everyone is there on the table. It’s like I have a menu and my menu is not a two-course menu. It’s an 8-course menu. We will evaluate everybody, see what the world is up to and also see what they bring on to the field,” he said.
“Are they brilliant fielders? Can they bat and how much they can bowl, and a match-winner will always get the preference. But you will have to think how many match-winners you want, match-winners come with faults as well,” he added.
India drew the T20I series against Proteas 1-1 after losing the third T20I. The Virat Kohli-led side will compete in a three-match Test series starting October 3.
Apart from Kuldeep and Chahal, who have not been included in the squad, seamer Jasprit Bumrah will also miss the Test series, as he has suffered an injury. Umesh Yadav has replaced him in the squad.
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