Only Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid can explain India's 'big mistake' at T20 World Cup, says former star batter
Yuzvendra Chahal did not play a single match throughout the T20 World Cup with India preferring to field Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel ahead of him.
India will be up against New Zealand in what will be their first series since their semi-final exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup. It gives a chance for India to start picking up the pieces after the spectacular 10-wicket loss to England that ended their World Cup campaign.
Among the many issues that former cricketers have pointed out since that game, a common thread seems to be the absence of spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. The 32-year-old was in the squad and was among the first names in the team sheet going into the tournament but in Australia, he ended up sitting out all of the matches with India preferring Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel in the playing eleven.
Former India batter Mohammed Kaif has said that not playing Chahal was a mistake, especially considering the tournament was being played in Australia and that only captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid can explain why they did that.
“Leg-spinners have a crucial role and every team plays a leg-spinner - be it England, Australia, or South Africa. Look at ICC bowling rankings and you will find that four to five leg-spinners are part of the top 10. Finger spinners don’t get much help in Australia. There is bounce; hence the wrist spinners come into play. Not playing Chahal was a big mistake. Only Rohit and Dravid can explain it," Kaif said on Sportskeeda.
India managed a score of 168/6 batting first. However, England openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales made a mockery of the target. They chased it down unbeaten with four overs to spare, thus reaching the final and eventually, winning the title itself. Kaif further said that selectors seem to be swayed by performances in the IPL, pointing out how Varun Chakravarthy was selected for the 2021 IPL ahead of Chahal. India were knocked out in the Super 12 stage itself at the time.
“Varun Chakravarthy was picked for the last World Cup because he did well in the IPL that was held ahead of the tournament. The selectors get so influenced by IPL performances that they end up making mistakes. Chahal did not play last year, and this year too he was benched for the entire tournament," he said.