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There were indeed a lot of surprises when India's T20 World Cup squad was picked last month. There were a lot of discussions around what the strategy was and how would the playing XI look like and some dialogue also revolved around the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal from the 15-member squad. This indeed was a surprising call made by the selectors as Chahal is currently one of the most dependable spinners that the Indian team has in the shortest versions of the game and to leave him out of a squad dominated by spin bowlers (five-spin bowling options, to be exact) did not sit well with many. Well, Chahal himself would have felt distraught at the decision but never let it affect his immediate goal at that time--to perform well for Royal Challengers Bangalore.India vs Pakistan, ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam Stats Comparison; Here’s How the Two Star Batsmen Fare Against Each Other in T20Is
And now here we are. Bangalore have successfully completed the league stage of IPL 2021 in the UAE, having made it to the playoffs. And one of the most consistent and genuine reasons for their success has been Chahal's performance. The leg-spinner has been in superb form in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, taking a total of 12 wickets in seven matches played. He has led Bangalore's spin bowling department from the front, picked up a wicket whenever his captain gave him the ball and is set to contribute more, with the side already in the playoffs. Now, after such consistent and power-packed performances, doesn't he deserve a spot in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup?Jammu and Kashmir Pacer Umran Malik To Join Team India Squad As Net Bowler for T20 World Cup 2021
Well, there are many more reasons why. Firstly, Chahal has by far, been one of India's best spin bowlers in limited-overs cricket. Statistically, he has been India's best in T20 internationals, having gone past Jasprit Bumrah earlier this year to become the highest wicket-taker for the 2007 champions in this format. The 31-year old currently has 63 scalps from 49 matches and his skill and expertise with spin bowling could be of big help to the Indian side, who are eyeing to recapture the T20 World Cup title after 14 years.
Secondly, he is very well-acquainted with the UAE pitches. Having picked up 12 scalps in only seven matches from September, Chahal can make good use of the slow tracks in the UAE and extract enough spin to create trouble for the opposition batsmen. And since the IPL is not finished yet, there's a high chance of more numbers getting added on to Chahal's wicket column. Thirdly, he should be a direct replacement for the out-of-form Rahul Chahar. Yes, Virat Kohli is known to back youngsters when they aren't performing well but leaving out the country's best T20I spinner for a player who is not in good form and is going to play his first World Cup, doesn't really make sense, especially if the Men in Blue are seriously looking at having a shot at the title.
With October 10 set as the deadline for making changes to the T20 World Cup teams, it should be a no-brainer to include Chahal in the 15-member squad and later combine him in the playing XI alongside Ravindra Jadeja or even Varun Chakravarthy or both (if India opts to play three spinners). The Haryana leggie has done enough to justify his selection and how, it is all dependent on the selectors and the team management, ahead of the 'deadline day'.