Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh was left shocked at the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal from the ODI World Cup 2023 squad. India announced their 15-member squad on Tuesday, 5 September. Captain Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar addressed a press conference and announced the 15-member squad for the premier ICC tournament.
Notable absentees amongst the squad were Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin, two veterans of the Indian cricketing setup. Chahal has been one of India’s leading spinners in recent years, and his exclusion from the squad came as a surprise to many. Harbhajan Singh tweeted after the squad selection and said that he was surprised by the fact that Chahal could not make it to the Indian squad.
“Surprised not to see Yuzvendra Chahal in the World Cup squad for Team India. pure Match winner,” Harbhajan Singh said.
India captain Rohit Sharma, however, had said during the press conference that there were no real surprise omissions in the team.
“There are no surprises and you can get only 15 in. Some of the guys will be disappointed. I have gone through it and I know how it feels. We have good all-round options and this is best 15 we could get,” Rohit Sharma said.
“I have not thought about plans yet. Problem of plenty is a good problem to have. We have to see who is in form and who our opposition is. We need to see what the best possible combination could be. If someone misses out, then so be it. This keeps happening. You have to make tough calls for the team,” he further added.
Yuzvendra Chahal has only played 2 ODIs in 2023 and has picked up 3 wickets. He has been in good form in the T20I format, but the selectors have decided to go with Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel as their two spinners for the ODI World Cup. The decision to exclude Chahal has been met with mixed reactions.
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Some experts have supported the decision, saying that Kuldeep and Axar are better suited to the ODI format, while others have criticized the decision, saying that Chahal is a proven match-winner. Only time will tell whether the selectors’ decision was the right one. The ODI World Cup is still a few months away, and a lot can happen in that time. Chahal will be hoping that he gets an opportunity to prove himself in the upcoming months.