Star India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has discussed his exclusion from the World Cup squad for the first time since India’s squad selections for the Asia Cup and the World Cup. His omission surprised many, and he’s now sharing his thoughts on the matter.
In late August, India unveiled its 17-member squad for the Asia Cup, with an additional traveling reserve. The squad primarily consisted of regular players, and it notably excluded Yuzvendra Chahal.
Even veteran cricketer Harbhajan Singh was surprised by this decision but expressed confidence that Chahal would be included in the World Cup squad.
However, despite a subsequent vacancy in the squad, Chahal was once again left out. Chahal has now publicly addressed this omission, marking the first time he’s discussed it since both squad selections.
Yuzvendra Chahal last played for Team India in the West Indies T20I series in August
Since his ODI debut in June 2016, Chahal has taken 121 wickets in 72 matches, making him the third-highest wicket-taker among Indian bowlers and the second-highest among spinners, behind Kuldeep Yadav. He has two five-wicket hauls to his name. Additionally, Chahal was the leading spinner in the 2019 World Cup, securing 12 wickets in eight matches, including a four-wicket haul, even though the tournament was primarily dominated by fast bowlers.
In an interview with Wisden India, Chahal expressed his deep disappointment about not making it to the World Cup squad. However, he lightened the mood by mentioning that this has now occurred three times in his career.
“I understand that only fifteen players can be a part, because it’s a World Cup, where you can’t take 17 or 18,” Chahal said. “I do feel a little bad, but my motto in life is to move on. I’m used to it now… it’s been three World Cups (laughs). ”
Chahal had experienced a similar setback when he didn’t make the squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup, even though he had a remarkable IPL season that year. In 2022, he was selected but didn’t get a chance to play a single game. For the 2023 ODI World Cup, commencing on October 5 in India, Chahal faced another omission as India chose Kuldeep as the primary spin option, with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as spin-bowling all-rounders.
There was indeed a last-minute vacancy in the squad due to Axar’s injury during the Asia Cup. The selectors assessed Ashwin, who had not participated in an ODI match for 20 months, and Washington Sundar during the home series against Australia.
A week later, when Axar was declared unfit for the World Cup squad, India opted for the experienced Ashwin for the tournament on home soil. Chahal also shared his perspective on losing his World Cup spot to Kuldeep and Ashwin, acknowledging the intricacies of the selection process.