Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has raised a few questions over the non-selection of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar in the Indian T20 squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against New Zealand in India. Chopra opined it was unfair to drop Chahar from the Indian T20 set-up after playing him in just a single match at the T20 World Cup 2021.
Naming veteran Rohit Sharma as skipper, BCCI named a 16-member squad for the India-New Zealand T20 series. The squad doesn't include names like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja, giving them some much-needed rest.
However, selectors have also dropped a number of players who made it into India's T20 World Cup squad. Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Suryakumar Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar have all been dropped from the Indian set-up for the T20I series against New Zealand.
Aakash Chopra, while reviewing the selected 16-member Indian squad, posted a video on his YouTube channel. You can watch his video below:
In his video, Chopra mentioned that Rahul Chahar's omission from the Indian team was unfair on the leg-spinner. He said:
"Rahul Chahar only played a single game in the tournament and on the back of just that single game, how did you decide that he's now not in the scheme of things. It was totally unfair."
Chahar replaced Varun Chakravarthy in India's last league stage game against Namibia. However, the leg-spinner didn't have the best of days and went wicketless.
The former cricketer-turned-commentator also impeached the non-selections of Shardul Thakur and Varun Chakravarthy for the New Zealand series.
Thakur, who was named in the main Indian squad from traveling reserves for the T20 World Cup right before the commencement of the tournament, played just two matches in the competition. Meanwhile, mystery spinner Chakravarthy was also wicketless during India's unsuccessful campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021.
Chopra took a dig at the Indian selectors over dropping Thakur and Chakravarthy on the back of just two or three matches. While divulging that it has left him bemused, the former cricketer said:
"Shardul Thakur is not part of the team. You, right before the world Cup, put him in the squad from the traveling reserves and now he has been dropped. What does it tell us? I am confused."
"Varun Chakravarthy has also not been picked. That's another interesting point I need to bring about. He was your mystery spinner, and was selected ahead of Ashwin in the initial matches of the WC. And now after playing him in 3 matches, is that it? Is he currently not in your blueprint for the T20I set-up?"
"The Ind-NZ series would be Bhuvneshwar Kumar's most important and typical chance to find his form" - Aakash Chopra
One player who has probably got a last chance to redeem himself is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The veteran right-arm seamer has been nowhere near his best in the last few months.
After a substandard IPL 2021, Kumar's bowling looked toothless at the T20 World Cup 2021 as well. However, the selection committee retained the 31-year old for the New Zealand's tour to India, probably giving him one last chance.
While speaking regarding the selection of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chopra stated that the pacer has to find his form against the Kiwi batters. He also mentioned that if Kumar doesn't do well in the upcoming series, his white-ball career might be in danger.
"Another chance for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. And this series will be one of the most important and typical chances for Bhuvi to find his form. Because if he doesn't do well in this series, there might be an indictment that his career might be in danger," Chopra concluded.
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The three-match T20I series will begin on November 17 in Jaipur, before the teams move to Ranchi for the second T20I. Kolkata will host the third and final T20I of the series.