Star India leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal finally made a comeback to the Indian team as he got selected in the ODI squad for the upcoming tour to South Africa. The 33-year-old last played for India in a T20I in August 2023 and was ignored for the Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup 2023. Chahal was further not picked in the ongoing five-match T20I series against Australia, however, he continued his stellar performances in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophies.
Reacting on Chahal’s inclusion in the ODI side, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said that his selection is just an appeasement as he’s been given a ‘lollypop to suck on.’ Harbhajan further said that it’s beyond his understanding why he wasn’t picked in T20s where he’s performed exceptionally well, especially in the IPL.
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“There is no Yuzvendra Chahal in T20 format. You kept him in ODIs but not T20Is. They just gave him a lollypop to suck on. We won’t take in the format where you do well but will take for other formats. It’s beyond my understanding,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, the selection committee also excluded veteran players Cheteshwar Pujara Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav from the Test squads and selected youngsters such as Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mukesh Kumar in their place. Further speaking about their exclusions, Harbhajan said that the board should’ve had a chat with them about their career paths.
“I think the road is tough for a comeback. They have served Indian cricket, and are renowned cricketers. The board should have had a chat with them. They should have been informed why they are not picked and what is a possible path for them in their careers,” mentioned Harbhajan.
India’s tour to SA to begin on December 10
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India’s tour of South Africa will begin from December 10 with a three-match T20I series where Suryakumar Yadav will continue his captaincy duties. The two teams will further lock horns in a three-match ODI series where India will be led by KL Rahul in the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Furthermore, they will also play a two-match Test series which will be a part of the World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle. Senior pros Kohli and Rohit will join the teams for Tests.