Feel sorry for Yuzvendra Chahal: Sanjay Manjrekar on India’s decision to drop spinner in 1st T20I vs Australia

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said Yuzvendra Chahal should have played the T20I series opener against Australia on Friday in Canberra, saying he “feels sorry” for the leg-spinner. India made a few surprising selection calls as the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shreyas Iyer did not feature in the playing XI.

Sanjay Manjrekar said it’s a bit unfair to not have Yuzvendra Chahal start for India in the T20I series opener after a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign the India spinner had. Chahal picked up 21 wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the UAE, becoming the only spinner to finish inside the top 5 in the bowling charts.

India vs Australia, 1st T20I: Live Updates

Chahal played only two matches in the ODI series as he failed to make an immediate impact in the 50-over format. Chahal set an unwanted record when he gave away 89 runs in the 1st ODI and leaked aplenty in the 2nd ODI, finishing with figures of 0 for 71.

However, Sanjay Manjrekar said it is unfair if India had taken a call on Chahal’s selection in the 1st T20I based on his ODI form.

“I feel sorry for Chahal. I just feel that it’s one of those games where they feel that he is tired, he has played a couple of games and let’s rest him,” Manjrekar told Sony Ten 1 on Friday.

“Also, the lines are getting blurred between 50 overs and T20s. When you look at Chahal, he has had his best IPL ever as a leg-spinner and in the first game he plays for India, he is dropped.

“Some of the things that are happening because of the number of matches, also he had a couple of rough games in the ODIs, that’s a little unfair. He was in such great T20I form but unfortunate to be dropped for the first T20I. I am looking so far ahead. I am just looking at players available and what could be India’s best possible XI.”

India also dropped Jasprit Bumrah for the first T20I after the India pacer played all 3 matches in the ODI series. Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, who has been struggling for form, also did not find a place in the XI as Manish Pandey took the Delhi Capitals’ captain’s place.

It remains to be seen if India’s Test specialists of the likes of Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja will feature in the 2nd and 3rd T20Is as the 1st practice match in the lead-up to the all-important Test series starts in Sydney on Sunday, December 6, clashing with the 2nd T20I.

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