The World T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to begin from October 17 as all teams have announced their squad for the mega event. Team India's squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 under the leadership of Virat Kohli, raised a few eyebrows, especially the exclusion of ace leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
The ‘Men in Blue' picked five specialist spinners while Chahal was not even considered as an option in the reserves. Team management has preferred Rahul Chahar as the only leg spinner in UAE conditions for the T20 WC 2021. Apart from him, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Varun Chakravarthy are the other spinners in India's T20 WC squad.
Chahal's T20 performances over the years
Since 2018, Yuzvendra Chahal has been the consistent performer for India in the limited-overs format of the game. In the 49 T20Is so far, Chahal has bagged 63 wickets at an economy nearing 8. He's currently India's highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals. However, none of it was enough to impress the selectors for him to make the cut for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Apart from his international career, Yuzi Chahal has enjoyed a rather successful stint as an RCB player in the IPL. With 139 scaps in 119 innings in his IPL career, Chahal is the most successful bowler for the franchise. Moreover, he's the leader of the pack and has been Kohli's go-to man for the ‘Men in Red' in the IPL.
Did the recent dip in form led to Chahal's ouster?
Chahal had a terrible first half of IPL 2021 in India. The leg-spinner was taken for plenty in his first seven games and returned wicketless on most occasions. Despite the fact that RCB played the first three games on a spin-friendly Chepauk track in Chennai, Chahal couldn't add much to his tally of wickets. In the first 7 games of the season, the 31-year old spinner could barely manage four wickets for RCB.
The Haryana-born player also suffered a major hammering on India's tour of Australia in 2021 in the ODI before he was eventually dropped from the playing XI. Leading into the IPL 2021, Chahal was even sidelined for the last three home T20Is against England after Rahul Chahar was given a run after his impressive showing in the IPL.
A decent show from Chahar and a string of unpleasant outings meant no place for the veteran spinner in India's T20 World Cup Squad 2021.
Chahal talks about his exclusion from the India Squad
After he was not named in India's T20 World Cup squad, Yuzvendra Chahal opened up with Aakash Chopra on his Youtube channel, talking in detail about the same. The leg-spinner accepted that he was shocked and didn't see it coming despite his recent struggle with form. However, he was overwhelmed by the kind of response he received from his fans and dear ones. “I see people’s messages, it feels good to be loved. It’s your closest ones that pick you up when you are down,” Yuzi Chahal was quoted as saying in a video on the YouTube channel of Aakash Chopra.
Chahal was gracious enough to accept the fact that his bad form was definitely playing on his mind. However, he was also of the view that he was bowling well but the T20 format doesn't always guarantee success in terms of wickets.
“Bad form was playing on my mind a bit, especially after the IPL. I sat down with my wife Dhanashree who helped me. She told me that every day you won’t take wickets, it’s just a bad phase. I knew that I was bowling well but sometimes in T20 cricket, it’s very hard to take wickets if a batsman doesn’t attack. It affects you when you don’t have wickets to show in the column,’’ he revealed.
An Improved show in the second leg of IPL 2021
Despite a setback, Yuzvendra Chahal did not offer to lose hope when the odds were stacked against him. He made a scintillating return to form in the second leg of the IPL 2021 in UAE. He was back to his near best and once again showed signs of being a potential match-winner. Yuzi Chahal picked 12 wickets in 7 games and saw the breaks on the run-scoring rate through the middle-overs for RCB. On most occasions, he turned out to be the partnership-breaker and held the key in RCB's bowling plans.
However, with a deadline of October 10 for a potential change in the T20 World Cup squads, BCCI opted against the decision of any further change since their announced India squad.