MSK Prasad feels Yuzvendra Chahal deserved a spot in T20 WC squad

Team India’s former chief selector MSK Prasad feels that leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal must have gotten a spot in India’s T20 World Cup squad, announced by the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee earlier last month.

Chahal’s was one of the most surprising exclusions, given he has been one of India’s bowling mainstays over the last couple of years, apart from also being an established name in the Indian Premier League where he plies his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, he happened to suffer a slight decline in form, leading the selectors to rely on Rahul Chahar over him for the multi-team event scheduled in UAE and Oman, starting October 17.

India’s squad has other spin options in all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Ravichandran Ashwin, who is set to make comeback into white-ball after 2017. Prasad, however, opines that Chahal must have been included in the squad.

“I think he is our best T20 bowler in terms of wickets. He has done superbly in the last 4-5 years. Fortunately, or unfortunately, what the selectors must have thought is the competition between Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal. On flat wickets like in Bangalore, he (Chahal) has never disappointed his captain Virat and he’s always given you wickets,” Prasad told Sports Tak.

While Chahal underwent a slump in form, Rahul Chahar’s stocks rose simultaneously, who picked 13, 15 and 13 wickets respectively in the last three seasons of IPL before also having an impressive first-half of IPL 2021. However, ever since the UAE leg of the IPL, Chahar has looked a different bowler, managing only a couple of wickets in four games, while he was not a part of his team’s most recent encounter against Delhi Capitals.

“But if you see his performance in the last year, year and a half, there is a little dip in his performance. Rahul Chahar on the other hand has played an important role in winning back-to-back IPL titles for Mumbai Indians. Probably that went on Chahar’s favour,” Prasad added.

When asked to reveal the reason behind preferring Chahar over Chahal, chief selector Chetan Sharma had said: “Spinners who bowl quick was our priority. Hence, we went with Rahul Chahar.”

All the teams have time until October 10 to make changes in their squads. There are still chances India might include Chahal, given his brilliant performance in the UAE leg, where he has picked 7 wickets in five games thus far.