Veteran Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh slammed the team’s selection process, pertaining to the choice of spinners made for the tournament and during the matches, after India failed to make the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup in the UAE. India were made aware of their fate after New Zealand eased to an eight-wicket win against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.
Speaking about India’s selection process on air, during the T20 World Cup game between Pakistan and Scotland, Harbhajan questioned the absence of Yuzvendra Chahal in the squad, admitting that he still finds it hard to believe that the management dropped the leg-spinner to pick the “better bowler” in Rahaul Chahar who is the only India yet to play a game in the competition.
“When they took Rahul Chahar over Yuzvendra Chahal for the T20 World Cup, they reasoned that he bowls quick which is why we selected him. Shortly after that, Chahal had a very good IPL outing. He took 15-16 wickets in the season (18 wickets in 15 matches). Meanwhile, Rahul Chahar hasn’t played a single game in the World Cup yet,” the 41-year-old said.
“To be honest, I don’t accept that Chahar is a better bowler than Chahal. Chahal is a dangerous bowler and the number of matches he has won for the Indian team in the past show for it.”
The veteran also questioned the management over going with Ravichandran Ashwin in the line-up, who played his first T20I game for India since 2017. He failed to understand the logic behind going back to Ashwin-Jadeja combination who were dropped from the limited-overs side after the 2017 Champions Trophy defeat in the final as India looked to embrace the wrist-spin duo in Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, both of whom are not part of the T20 World Cup squad.
“And even when you selected Chahar, why didn’t you play him? Ashwin played ahead of him after the first two games. I didn’t understand that thought process. When Ashwin was dropped way back in 2017, you said we need wrist spinners. We brought Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and they won us many games. Now suddenly, both Kuldeep and Chahal are absent and we are back to Ashwin and Jadeja. I don’t understand this,” he added.
India might play Chahar in the final Super 12 game, against Namibia in Dubai on Monday.