Former middle order batter Mohammad Kaif has said that India made a big mistake by not selecting Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI in T20 World Cup 2022 semifinal clash against England, which they went on to lose by 10 wickets.
Speaking about the tactical blunder in team selection for the big game, Kaif added that only head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma will be able to explain why Chahal was benched.
“Leg-spinners have a crucial role and every team plays a leg-spinner – be it England, Australia, or South Africa. Look at ICC bowling rankings and you will find that four to five leg-spinners are part of the top 10. Finger spinners don’t get much help in Australia. There is bounce; hence the wrist spinners come into play. Not playing Chahal was a big mistake. Only Rohit and Dravid can explain it,” Kaif said on Sportskeeda.
At the same time, the cricketer-turned-commentator also criticized the selectors for getting influenced by IPL performances when it comes to team selections for major tournaments.
“Varun Chakravarthy was picked for the last World Cup because he did well in the IPL that was held ahead of the tournament. The selectors get so influenced by IPL performances that they end up making mistakes. Chahal did not play last year, and this year too he was benched for the entire tournament,” he added.
Yuzvendra Chahal was benched throughout the tournament as the team management stuck to veteran offie Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
The move, however, backfired in the semis when both frontline spinners were mercilessly taken to the cleaners by Jos Buttler and Alex Hales. The duo knocked India out of the competition with an unbeaten 170-run opening stand, winning the game with four overs to spare. The Indian think tank faced plenty of criticism for making Chahal warm the bench in a crucial knockout encounter.