Chahal, Axar should have been picked for T20 World Cup - Sarandeep Singh

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh says some selection choices for India’s T20 World Cup squad were incorrect.

Yuzvendra Chahal was impressive for RCB in IPL 2021 but couldn’t find a spot in the India squad for the T20 World Cup.   -  K. V. S. GIRI

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh has said some selection choices for India’s T20 World Cup squad were incorrect.

Sarandeep said the exclusion of spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel in the squad was baffling, and that Hardik Pandya wasn’t an automatic pick as he wasn’t fit enough to bowl regularly.

Commenting on the ODI captaincy, Sarandeep said Rohit was the man for the job but only in the short term.

‘Good choice’

“Rohit is a good choice (for white-ball captaincy), he is among your best batters. But the call the selection committee has to take is whether to make him captain for couple of years (till 2023 ODI World Cup) or find a leader who can lead the team for a long time. If they are looking at the bigger picture, K. L. Rahul and Rishabh Pant are good choices,” Sarandeep said.

Shardul Thakur took Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s place for the New Zealand game, which was a massive mistake as per Sarandeep.

“If you lose one game with the your best eleven, you don’t make drastic changes, you have to stick to it. Bhuvi should have never been dropped. If at all you had to bring in Shardul, you should have dropped Hardik, who is not the player he is used to be. Why would you pick Hardik when he is not fit enough for his all-round skills? He has not bowled regularly for two years now,” Sarandeep said.

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Sarandeep also had his say on other selections in the World Cup squad.

“Some of the selection calls were beyond me. Shami is one of India’s best bowlers but he is not as effective in T20s as he is in Tests and ODIs. Axar Patel was earlier in the squad but you brought Shardul in his place. He could have been your main bowler.

Yuzi Chahal was performing for the last four five overs and you don’t keep him in the squad. You say that he doesn’t bowl fast enough but we have been taught from day one that spinners are supposed to bowl slow and flight the ball.”

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Sarandeep also gave his views on mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy.

“Who is a mystery spinner? You play a game or two and then you play after six months. I used to ask this in our selection meetings also. Mystery spinner is not someone who would play regularly. The teams will pick you in that case.”

While India has fared poorly in the tournament, Sarandeep felt it wasn’t a bad team.

“What we need to realise is that other teams have actually become better. India remain a good team but need to catch up with others as it has been shown in this tournament,” he added.

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