'If he was playing for any other country': Harbhajan provides honest admission on Chahal's World Cup snub
Harbhajan Singh has named two star players who should have been a part of the Indian squad for the World Cup.
Even though Rohit Sharma said that doors are not shut for discarded spinners in India's World Cup squad, senior bowler Yuzvendra Chahal failed to seal his place in the 15-member roster for the showpiece event. Addressing a press conference before the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, chief selector Ajit Agarkar announced India's squad for the upcoming edition of the ICC World Cup on Tuesday.
A fit-again KL Rahul was retained in Team India's squad while Rohit and Co. left out senior all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin from their World Cup roster. Team India has named Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja as their three left-arm spinners for the showpiece event. Interestingly, former world champions India have not picked any specialist offspinner for the ICC event.
Speaking during a virtual press conference ahead of the Greatest Rivalry on Star Sports, legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh named two star players who should have been a part of the Indian squad. Harbhajan opined that Chahal and Arshdeep Singh are the two names missing from India's World Cup squad list.
“Because a left-arm seamer, if he can bring the new ball inside, it makes it useful in the game. If he can get two wickets early in the game, I’m not saying that right-handers can’t do that, but a left-hand seamer can get an actual angle to get the wicket. You can see how Shaheen Shah Afridi or Mitchell Starc, they have a huge impact on the game. When Australia won the World Cup, Mitchell Starc had a huge impact on the games; he sent Brendan McCullum out on the first ball. Incoming ball, with that speed, coming into a right-hander is always challenging,” Harbhajan said.
'Chahal should have been in the team'
India's pace attack features the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. India also has vice-captain Hardik Pandya and all-rounder Shardul Thakur as seam-bowling options in its squad. Youngsters Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna were the two players dropped from India's squad. Wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson was also left out of the 15-member roster. The two-time champions had earlier named Tilak and Prasidh Krishna in their squad for the Asia Cup. Spinner Kuldeep was preferred over Chahal in India's Asia Cup squad.
“The second, being Yuzvendra Chahal, a proven match-winner, someone who has taken more wickets than any other spinner. If he was playing for any other country, I would think he would always be in the playing XI. But even after proving so much, I feel he should have been in the team. If I were part of the management, I would definitely play him in the team, because we are all stakeholders of Indian cricket and we want the Indian Cricket Team to do well. So, I feel these two boys, they could have been very handy in the World Cup, and especially in conditions where they know what to do and how to take wickets,” Harbhajan added.