‘Rahul Chahar definitely has those strengths’: Virat Kohli explains Yuzvendra Chahal's snub from T20 World Cup squad
Out of favour India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had an amazing outing in the second leg of the Indian Premier League. The 31-year-old left a lasting impression in almost every match and finished the campaign as the second-highest wicket-taker from the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp.
Such was his performance, many fans, including former India opener Virender Sehwag, felt there could have been a final tweak in Team India's 15-man T20 World Cup squad, with the RCB spinner making a late cut.
However, that was not the case as Chahal was still sidelined from the team despite a terrific second leg in UAE.
On Saturday, Team India skipper Virat Kohli, who'll be leading the side in his final assignment in the shorter format of the game, explained the reasons for picking Rahul Chahar ahead of his RCB teammate.
"It was a challenging call but we decided to back Rahul Chahar for a reason. He has bowled amazingly well over the last couple of years in the IPL. A guy who bowls with pace, he did really well in Sri Lanka and against England at home as well, he was someone who bowled those difficult overs," explained Kohli during a Captain's Call organised by the ICC ahead of the upcoming Men's T20 World Cup.
"We believe going on in this tournament, the wickets are going to get slower and slower, so guys who bowl with pace will be able to trouble the batters as compared to those who give it air. Rahul definitely has those strengths naturally as a leg-spinner. He is someone who always attacks the wickets, that is the factor that tilted the thing in favour of him. Picking a World Cup is always tricky and you cannot always have everyone in that squad," he added.
Chahal finished IPL 2021 with 18 wickets from 15 outings, which included a 3/11 against the Mumbai Indians. Out of the 18 wickets, 14 came in 8 matches the team played in the second leg.
India will kick-off their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24.