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Three Left-arm Spinners, No Offspinner and Yuzvendra Chahal Snubbed for ODI World Cup: Ajit Agarkar Answers Burning Question

Last Updated: September 05, 2023, 21:29 IST

Yuzvendra Chahal has played 72 ODIs and taken 121 wickets in them. (AFP Photo)

Yuzvendra Chahal has played 72 ODIs and taken 121 wickets in them. (AFP Photo)

BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar explains why India didn’t pick an offspinner for ODI World Cup and why Yuzvendra Chahal was ignored.

Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav are the three specialist spinners picked by Indian selectors in a 15-man squad for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 that was revealed on Tuesday. All three are left-armers with India not picking an offspinner with Ravichandran Ashwin being an option while legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal was again snubbed.

BCCI chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar admitted that including an offspinner in an ODI is ideal but the the majority of the workload in one-dayers is shared by the seamers.

Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage

“Clearly there will be discussions given we have both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who spin the ball into left-handers,” Agarkar said on Tuesday. “(However) both give us depth in batting. Kuldeep takes the ball away. In 50 overs cricket, perhaps you would ideally want an offspinner but this gives us the best balance.”

“Seamers tend to bowl a lot more in ODIs as compared to T20 cricket, and perhaps you’re a little more under pressure if you don’t have an offie, so we’re happy with the guys we have,” he added.

Chahal, wasn’t picked for the ongoing Asia Cup and has ignored for the world cup too leaving former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh surprised.

“Surprise not to see@yuzi_chahal in the World Cup squad for Team India. pure Match winner,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter) after the team announcement.

Agarkar said while Chahal’s name did come up for discussion during the selection meeting, it was difficult to fit in two wrist spinners in the squad.

“Chahal was discussed, but sometimes it is the balance of the side we had to look at. Kuldeep has been really good, Axar has done well, but to fit two wrist spinners was difficult, so Chahal had to miss out,” Agarkar said.

Rohit will be leading the team with Hardik Pandya named as his deputy for the marquee event set to get underway from October 5 in Ahmedabad.

The likes of KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have also made the cut. Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna are the only two members of the Asia Cup squad who have not been selected.

Rohit said the format of the ODI WC gives teams a chance to make a comeback.

“The 50-over format is different, especially where you play nine league games and semifinals and finals — 11 games. There’s always chance for you to make a comeback,” said Rohit.

“The format gives you more time to think about strategy and what you’re going to execute as a team. You have lesser time in T20 format. Yes, the ODIs does give you a little more breathing space,” he added.

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