Former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckoned it’s time that Team India dispense with senior leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in their crucial Asia Cup 2022 encounter against Sri Lanka, which India must win to keep the fate of the final in their own hands after suffering a last-over loss to Pakistan on Sunday in their first Super 4 match.
Chahal was India’s second-worst bowler on the night, conceding 43 runs for 1 wicket in his quota of 4 overs as Babar Azam’s team chased down 182 with one ball to spare.
Yuzvendra Chahal has had off days in both Pakistan matches
Although Yuzvendra Chahal is still assumed by many as India’s first-choice spinner in white-ball cricket and had been in excellent form prior to the Asia Cup 2022, the 32-year-old’s performances in the tournament so far have been underwhelming: 0/32 and 1/43 in two outing against Pakistan; 0/18 against Hong Kong.
Matters have compounded for Chahal’s place in the eleven after Ravi Bishnoi’s brilliant performance against Pakistan: despite bowling an over each in the powerplay and in the death, Bishnoi was quite easily India’s best bowler on Sunday night, returning with figures of 1/26 and could have had Asif Ali had Arshdeep Singh taken a simple catch.
Gautam Gambhir pointed out that Bishnoi bowled the tougher overs than Chahal, but the young leggie may not have played had Avesh Khan been fit.
“I think Bishnoi did a fabulous job today. He was the one who bowled the toughest overs in this game. Bowling the fifth over and getting Babar out, bowling the 18th over. Had Avesh been fit, probably Bishi wouldn’t have played this game. Chahal has been the senior over, and he has actually bowled the easier overs as compared to someone like Bishnoi, who is playing first game against Pakistan,” Gambhir told Star Sports.
The former KKR captain feels India should persist with Bishnoi in their next game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday and instead Chahal should be replaced by Avesh if he’s fit.
“India shouldn’t drop Ravi Bishnoi as he bowled well against Pakistan. Chahal was expensive and couldn’t create an impact, and he should make way for Avesh Khan. India need another fast bowler on such tracks,” opined Gambhir.
If India’s don’t win against Sri Lanka, they will not have the fate of their qualification for the final in their own hands. Their last Super 4 match is against Afghanistan on Thursday.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan.