On 8th September 2021, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup 2021. Virat Kohli was selected as the captain, while Rohit Sharma assumed the vice-captaincy duties. The batting lineup included the likes of KL Rahul, Surykumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant. As for the all-rounders, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja made the cut.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were picked as three pacers in the squad. As far as the spin department was concerned, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy were picked as the main spinners. In what came as a surprise to a lot of cricket enthusiasts, Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel also made it to the 15-man squad in a bid to strengthen the spin department.
Notably, Yuzvendra Chahal, who was India’s first-choice spinner till recently, was excluded from India’s 15-man squad. The decision left a lot of cricket pundits perplexed, given the fact that the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel were chosen ahead of him.
Yuzvendra Chahal last played for India during the tour of Sri Lanka. Chahal finished as the leading wicket-taker for the side in the ODI series, picking 5 wickets in 2 matches at an average of 20.40.
It was a difficult and challenging call dropping Yuzi Chahal, says Virat Kohli
Indian skipper, Virat Kohli recently admitted that leaving Chahal was a tough decision for the Indian Team management. He, however, also explained the reason behind picking Rahul Chahar over Chahar in the squad.
“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,” he said.
“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”.
Yuzvendra Chahal endured poor numbers in the India leg of the IPL 2021. However, he made a sensational comeback in the UAE leg of the tournament. He finished IPL 2021 season as RCB’s second-highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets to his name in 15 matches at 20.78.