Harbhajan Singh shocked at Yuzvendra Chahal's World Cup snub, sums up reaction in three words
Although it was highly unlikely that Chahal would make the World Cup cut despite not being part of the Asia Cup squad, Harbhajan was taken aback by the call
BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Tuesday, the day after the end of India's group-stage matches at the ongoing Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, announced the 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup at home. Among the notable misses from the Asia Cup squad announced last month were Tilak Varma, who is yet to make his ODI debut for India, Prasidh Krishna, who was added as an extra seamer for the continental event, and Sanju Samson, who was picked as travelling reserve. However, veteran India bowler Harbhajan Singh was shocked at the omission of Yuzvendra Chahal, who wasn't even part of the Asia Cup.
It was always given that India would only pick their World Cup squad from the set of 17 names selected for the Asia Cup. And Chahal, much to the surprise of many veteran cricketers and experts, was snubbed for the event last month. India had then picked a pace-heavy bowling line-up with two spin-bowling all-rounders and one specialist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav.
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Although it was highly unlikely that Chahal would make the cut despite not being part of the Asia Cup squad, Harbhajan was taken aback by the call from India captain Rohit Sharma and selection committee chief Agarkar. And he summed up his reaction in just three words.
“Surprise not to see@yuzi_chahal in the World Cup squad for Team India. pure Match winner,” he posted on X.
Agarkar's explanation on Chahal's Asia Cup snub
Last month, when BCCI had named the 17-member team for the continental event, among the first question posed to him was about Chahal's omission and he had explained saying that India would only fit in one leg-spinner and going by recent form, Kuldeep had a better chance than Chahal.
“Chahal was discussed, but sometimes it is the balance of the side we had to look at. Kuldeep has been really good, Axar has done well, but to fit two wrist spinners was difficult, so Chahal had to miss out,” Agarkar told reporters.
Kuldeep has been in impressive form in the ODI format claiming 34 wickets in 19 matches since 2022. On the other hand, Chahal has played in just two matches in the format this year, picking only three wickets.
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