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“Is he not good enough anymore?” – Aakash Chopra questions Yuzvendra Chahal’s omission from India’s T20I squad vs Australia
By SMCS - Nov 22, 2023 11:10 am
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has questioned whether talented India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from Team India’s squad for the upcoming T20I series against Australia means that the selectors are looking beyond him. However, Team India will play against the Aussies in a five-match series, with the first game taking place in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. Notably, both Chahal and Sanju Samson failed to get places in the Indian squad as well.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Ravi Bishnoi is there but Yuzi (Yuzvendra) Chahal isn’t. It’s a slightly surprising thing to me that you have virtually turned your back on him. You neither played him in ODI cricket nor are you keeping his name for T20Is. Is he not good enough anymore? You start getting a feeling like that, which is not a good feeling because Yuzi Chahal has done well. It seems like the selectors have made up their minds and you can’t do anything if someone has made up their mind.”

However, Chahal, with 96 wickets, is India’s leading wicket-taker in T20I cricket. He has claimed nine wickets in as many T20Is this year but conceded an average of 8.72 runs per over. Chopra also shared that Jitesh Sharma’s selection ahead of Samson is potentially a massive hint from the selectors as well. Samson has scored 374 runs at a below-par average of 19.68 in 21 T20I innings as well.

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“Jitesh Sharma is ahead of Sanju Samson. I feel it is a huge statement from the selectors about whom they are looking towards. There is no doubt that Sanju Samson is a mighty player and a match will be played at his home (Thiruvananthapuram) as well. His lifesize poster will be made but he won’t be there. The entire stadium will sing – ‘We miss you Sanju Samson’. I have started feeling that they are not thinking about him because he opens or plays at No. 3 in the IPL and they don’t have a place for him there,” Aakash Chopra again shared.

Rinku Singh
Rinku Singh played a captains knock

Aakash Chopra also feels the upcoming T20I series between India and Australia will be very important for Rinku Singh. Rinku, who has scored 75 runs at a strike rate of 208.33 in his two T20I innings, is part of the squad led by Suryakumar Yadav as well. Meanwhile, Tilak Varma has also been a part of the squad who has scored 231 runs at a strike rate of 142.59 in nine T20I innings.

He added, “Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma – important players. It’s a massive series for Rinku Singh, as was the previous one and the one before that because he has been consistently doing well. He scores runs while batting down the order. Tilak Varma also did well when he was given the job. The Ireland series was not good, if it had been good, he might have been in the World Cup’s scheme of things. He might have even played in the final. You would have got a left-handed batter who could have bowled off-spin.”

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However, Aakash Chopra opined on the significance of the series for Axar Patel and Washington Sundar as well.

“You are going with three spinners – Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and Ravi Bishnoi. Washi has problems with injuries. Axar also missed the World Cup unnecessarily. The focus will be on both of them. You want Axar and Ravindra Jadeja to keep pushing each other. It will be an extremely important series for Shivam Dube. There are five matches. He might get to bowl a little as well. You don’t get bowling in the IPL because of the ‘Impact Player’ rule. The truth is that you need a replacement for Hardik Pandya,” Aakash Chopra concluded.