In Kohli’s final assignment as Captain in T20, India played with R Ashwin, Rahul Chahar, Jadeja, and Varun Chakravarthy as spinners, which saw the surprise omission of Chahal.
A couple of months down the line, all three of them miss out on a T20 series against West Indies while Ravindra Jadeja is yet to be fit.
The spin trio couldn’t make an impact as India bowed out of the tournament without making it to the semi-finals. Is it their performance or India’s strategy for the long-term vision? Let’s have a look!
Wicketless in Crucial games
Varun Chakaravarthy and Jadeja were wicketless in the crucial group games against Pakistan and New Zealand. India lost both the matches where spinners gave away 107 runs in 14 overs.
Varun Chakaravarthy was wicketless in the three matches he played while Rahul Chahar managed to get only one game.
Ashwin played three games after missing out against Pakistan and New Zealand managed to pick up wickets, though against relatively weaker opponents in the group.
The average performance of the Indian spinner in crucial games in spin assisting pitches in UAE had a say in India’s early exit out of the 2021 T20 World cup.
Long term strategy?
India has another T20 series around the corner against West Indies and there is another T20 world cup in Australia in a few months. Under a new coach and captain, the team is looking to rebuild for future tournaments.
Chahal, India’s top spinner in the T20 format is back in the squad and Axar Patel finds a spot as well. The selection of Ravi Bishnoi also indicates the team management’s intention to reward consistent performance in the T20 formats and IPL.
Washington Sundar also makes a comeback to the side after recovering from injuries.
It may seem like a hard call on Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakaravarthy as they had limited opportunities that they couldn’t capitalize on. Chakaravarthy, identified as a mystery spinner couldn’t manage the success he had in IPL for India at the highest level.
R Ashwin picked up 6 wickets in 3 games in the world cup group matches. However, all of those were against opponents like Scotland, Namibia, and Afghanistan. His recent outing in white-ball cricket, though it’s a 50 over game was also below average. There may not be a huge surprise on his absence in the side as the team and the management will be looking to provide more opportunity for the youngsters.
The doors may not be closed for Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakaravarthy. Another IPL season is around the corner and their performance will play a key role in making a comeback to the side.
However, it may not be easy as Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Sundar, and a fit-again Ravindra Jadeja will be eyeing the 2 or 3 spots in the playing eleven.
After all, a good problem to have for the team India.