Zaheer Khan questioned Rishabh Pant's decision to utilise Yuzvendra Chahal for just 2.1 overs.© BCCI
Zaheer Khan questioned Rishabh Pant's decision to utilise Yuzvendra Chahal for just 2.1 overs.© BCCI

Ashish Nehra, the former India pacer was left surprised by Rishabh Pant‘s decision to give only two overs to Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner conceded 26 off his 2.1 overs in the first T20I against South Africa in Delhi on June 9.

Coming into the attack in the powerplay itself, Yuzvendra Chahal conceded 16 runs off his very first over. While he came back strong, conceding just six in the next over of his spell, it was not until the final over that the 31-year-old was reintroduced into the attack.

The lack of wickets in the middle overs hurt India as Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller stitched together an unbeaten 131-run partnership for the fourth wicket to chase 212 successfully.

Yuzvendra Chahal Image Source: Twitter
Yuzvendra Chahal Image Source: Twitter

Ashish Nehra Surprised That Yuzvendra Chahal Bowled Only 2 Overs In The 1st T20I

India’s 12-game winning run in the shortest format came to an end after they lost to South Africa in the first T20I of the five-match series at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. India failed to defend a target of 212 as in-form Protes batters Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller played sensational knocks to take South Africa home.

While analyzing the game, former India pacer Ashish Nehra questioned India’s stand-in captain Rishabh Pant’s decision to utilize Yuzvendra Chahal for just 2.1 overs. Ashish Nehra, who had coached Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title, also said Rishabh Pant missed a trick or two by not bringing in Yuzvendra Chahal while David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen were hitting boundaries with ease.

Feeling that the decision to give a certain over to a bowler does not entirely have to come down to the captain, Ashish Nehra said : “Rishabh Pant is a young captain, he will learn and hopefully he will get better. Now if Dravid feels that Chahal should bowl an over, obviously a message can be sent. They have to keep things simple and be proactive.”

Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)

Noting that Yuzvendra Chahal should have been brought into the attack in the middle overs to break the match-winning partnership, Ashish Nehra continued: “It is very surprising to me that a bowler like him only bowled 2 overs today.

“He should have bowled to the van der Dussen-Miller pair, especially at the stage when South Africa were back in the chase. Rishabh Pant surely made a mistake over there. He also was frantic in the powerplay, using five bowlers for six overs.”

Only pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled two overs in the powerplay. The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, and Harshal Patel were given an over each as South Africa ended with 61-2 after six overs. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 Purple Cap winner was taken off the attack entirely after the eighth over. Fellow spinner Axar Patel completed his quota of overs and recorded figures of 1-40 in his spell.

Parthiv Patel: It’s Important To Keep A Wicket Taking Option In The Middle Overs

Yuzvendra Chahal, the purple cap winner of IPL 2022, bowled just 13 deliveries and leaked 26 runs. Indian team’s hopes of creating a new record of successive T20I wins were dashed on Thursday night with South Africa chasing down a mammoth 212 in Delhi for a seven-wicket win and thus ending India’s winning streak at 12 – the joint-most in T20I history.

Former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel feels that being a wicket-taking option, Yuzvendra Chahal should have bowled more, irrespective of his bowling figures.

“He only bowled 2 overs today. Sometimes teams hold back leg spinners because there is a left hander batting. It is important to keep a wicket-taking option in the middle overs. If you have to stop a top-quality International batter, you will have to take his wicket, defensive bowling won’t work. They will have to see how to use him in a better way.”

Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel (Credits: Twitter)

South Africa registered their highest ever run chase in the shortest format with their victory over India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. India failed to defend the highest score ever registered at the venue following a record partnership between Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller.

Opining that the Proteas’ run-chase would have dented India’s mentality, Patel said: “Being unable to defend 212 with six bowlers will hurt India’s mentality. You usually defend 212 on nine occasions out of 10. They will have to revisit their game plan.”

India will take on South Africa in the second T20I on June 12 (Sunday) at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The Temba Bavuma-led side currently leads the five-match series by 1-0. It is worth noting that Yuzvendra Chahal, with 27 scalps, had finished as the highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded IPL 2022. Yuzvendra Chahal, with 68 scalps, is the highest wicket-taker for Team India in T20I cricket.