Ahead of the first One-Day International against Australia, India sprung a big surprise by dropping Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner had to make way for Ravindra Jadeja. Chahal has been an absolute revelation for India since making his ODI debut in 2017. His formidable partnership with his spin partner Kuldeep Yadav is one of the biggest reasons behind India’s recent domination in ODI cricket irrespective of conditions and venues.
However, India were compelled to drop Chahal to include Ravindra Jadeja in the team to play an allrounder. The team-management had to take the decision after first-choice allrounder Hardik Pandya was sent back home along with KL Rahul. The BCCI has suspended the duo for their controversial remarks on the talk show Koffee with Karan.
Not only that, their absence has also upset the balance of the team as skipper Virat Kohli pointed out before the ongoing first ODI.
“We are always looking to improve as a side. We need to strike when the big games arrive. When two quality players (Hardik and Rahul) are not featuring, it upsets the balance of the side. Jadeja is back in the ODI side, let’s see what he’s got to offer,” said Virat Kohli.
With Pandya not available, India had to play three specialist pacers while dropping Chahal to make room for Jadeja. However, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is not impressed with it and took to Twitter to criticise the move.
“In cricket, it’s not compulsory to play an all rounder. Chahal out for Jadeja dilutes India’s bowling which has been the main reason for its recent dominance in 50 overs cricket,” Manjrekar wrote on Twitter.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 12, 2019
Chahal had a good outing last year. He finished the year as India’s top wicket-taker. In 17 games, he picked up 29 wickets at an average of 26 while conceding less than 5 runs per over.