Yuzvendra Chahal put in impressive performances during the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which led to many questioning his omission from India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad. Varun Chakaravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin options for India in the T20 World Cup. Spinners, wrist spinners especially, had a massive impact in the recently-concluded tournament, which Australia won. The top two highest wicket-takers in the competition were both spinners — Wanindu Hasaranga and Adam Zampa. But Chahal is of the opinion that one spinner is head and shoulders above the rest and in a different league altogether.
“Rashid Khan is in a different league. I believe he is a cut above the rest like we used to talk about Muralidharan sir or Shane Warne sir. My calling card is mindgame. I don’t try fancy variations. I back whatever variations I have,” Chahal said in an interview to Times of India.
Speaking about his exclusion, Chahal said he felt “really bad” and was feeling “down for two-three days”. But encouragement from his family and fans helped him overcome the tough period.
“I was not dropped in four years and then I got dropped for such a marquee event. I felt really bad. I was down for two-three days. But then I knew the second leg of the IPL was still around the corner.
“I went back to my coaches and spoke to them a lot. My wife and family were constantly encouraging me. My fans kept putting out motivational posts. That buoyed me. I decided to back my strengths and overcome my confusion. I couldn’t have sulked for long because that would have impacted my IPL form,” said the India spinner.
During the T20 World Cup, India persisted with Varun Chakaravarthy but he could not replicate his performances in domestic tournaments on the international stage. Rahul Chahar got a solitary game but did nothing of note.
After being overlooked for the first two games, Ashwin was finally brought into the playing XI and was the standout spinner for Team India in the three matches he played in the Super 12 stage.
Chahal, though, is back in the reckoning after being included in the T20I squad for the upcoming home series against World Cup finalists New Zealand.
India play three T20Is against New Zealand on November 17, 19 and 21.
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