Only the selectors can tell why: Rahul Chahar on his non-selection in India U19 side for 2018 World Cup
Not long ago, the 18-year-old leg break spinner Rahul Chahar was bowling at the likes of Hashim Amla, Suresh Raina and Brendon McCullum in the Indian Premier League. Playing for Rising Pune Supergiant, he bagged two wickets, that of Amla and McCullum, in as many innings.
Subsequently, he travelled with the Indian under-19 team, led by skipper Prithvi Shaw, to England in August this year where he picked as many as 10 wickets in four One-Dayers. Even in a conversation after the England tour, he seemed pretty upbeat about the upcoming under-19 World Cup.
However, as the team for the World Cup was announced, Chahar found himself among the stand-by players. "Only the selectors can tell why I haven't been selected," Chahar said while speaking to Sportskeeda.
The youngster was set to represent Rajasthan this Ranji season but his progress was halted by an injury. He was even named in the Board President XI which was to take on the travelling New Zealand senior side in two matches. However, the injury stopped him from taking part in those tour matches as well.
The 18-year-old, though, made it clear that he is completely fit and the injury has nothing to do with his ouster from the main squad. He even revealed that he hasn't been called for the preparatory camp for the under-19 side, which starts on 8th November in Bangalore.
"Yeah, the injury is fine and I'm fully fit but I haven't been called to the camp."
The reason behind not calling him to the camp, as Chahar revealed, was a message from Rahul Dravid which stated that the 18-year-old needs to play regularly so that he is match-fit if and when his need arises in the future
Being a stand-by for a tournament as big as the World Cup is not easy but Chahar remains optimistic and is currently preparing to play in the Cooch Behar U19 Trophy.
"I've been called for the U19 Cooch Behar trophy for now, so I'm playing in that."
The 18-year-old has been named as a standby, along with Om Bhosle, Ninad Rathva, Urvil Patel, Aditya Thakare.
Here's the full team for the U19 World Cup: Prithvi Shaw (captain), Shubman Gill, Himanshu Rana, Abhishek Sharma, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel, Shivam Mavi, Riyan Parag, Aryan Juyal, Harvik Desai (WK), Arshdeep Singh, Shiva Singh, Pankaj Yadav, Anukul Roy and Manjot Kalra.