T20 World Cup 2022: "There is a question mark over Harshal Patel's selection" - Aakash Chopra on India's selection issues

3rd T20 International: India v South Africa
Harshal Patel did not play a single match in the T20 World Cup.

Aakash Chopra has questioned Harshal Patel's selection in India's T20 World Cup 2022 squad if the seam bowler was not in contention to be a part of the playing XI.

The Men in Blue were eliminated from the global showpiece event after a 10-wicket loss to England in the second semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, November 10. Harshal was one of two players, Yuzvendra Chahal being the other, in the 15-member squad who did not get to play a match in the entire tournament.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra reflected on some of India's selection mistakes. Regarding Harshal, he said:

"There is a question mark over Harshal Patel's selection, which no one has talked about, but it should be discussed. If he was part of your team, did it never come to your mind that you can play him?"

Chopra reckons the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) seamer could have played instead of Axar Patel in Thursday's game. The former Indian cricketer elaborated:

"When you come to this pitch, you feel the side boundaries are extremely short and Axar's form is very bad, you could have played him here in place of Axar. You can go in with four fast bowlers as well."

Axar Patel did not get to bat against England and conceded 28 runs in the first three overs he bowled. The left-arm spinner picked up only three wickets in the five games he played and was India's most expensive bowler in the tournament, conceding an average of 8.62 runs per over.

"You could have played Yuzi in place of Ashwin" - Aakash Chopra

Ravichandran Ashwin conceded 27 runs in the two overs he bowled against England.
Ravichandran Ashwin conceded 27 runs in the two overs he bowled against England.

Chopra highlighted that the Indian team would have been able to accommodate Chahal in the playing XI in such a scenario. He explained:

"Then you could have played Yuzi in place of Ashwin, you have proper batting as well. But you don't have confidence in Harshal. He is your replacement, but for whom, you don't know."

The renowned commentator added that India played with a depleted squad at the T20 World Cup. He reasoned:

"You don't want to play Harshal, you don't want to play Chahal, that means you went with 13 players. You were a 13-member team. Even in those 13, when you play Deepak Hooda, you don't get him to bowl, and when you play Pant, you don't get him to bat."
- Saal bhar Chahal khela, didn't play a single game in WC.- Saal bhar Dk khela, knockouts me drop kr diya- Saal bhar Harshal Patel khela, didn't play a single game in WC. - Saal bhar Shami ko sideline kiya, aur seedha WC squad me daal diya.

Chopra also questioned the planning regarding Mohammad Shami's selection. He pointed out that the Bengal seamer was not in the team management's scheme of things for an entire year before being called back for the T20 World Cup.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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