Veteran Indian keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik on Sunday expressed an absolute certainty over the inclusion of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the Rohit Sharma-led India team for the 2022 T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in Australia next October.
Chahal was picked in the squad for India’s third T20I game against New Zealand in the series. It was his first appearance for the side since the Sri Lanka tour earlier this year, following which he was replaced by Rahul Chahar for the T20 World Cup squad.
However, after the tournament ended, the bowler was thought over for the New Zealand series while Chahar was released. During a conversation with Cricbuzz, Karthik commended the leg-spinner over his comeback to the playing XI, talking about how he has improved as a bowler and how being a chess player has also helped him improve his performance.
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“Great to see him come back. And he showed his character. The way he bowled in the second leg of IPL, he was an absolute champion. He is the top leg-spinner in India. I always rate him very high because he is also a chess player and they are always a couple of moves ahead than normal people. And that is always a special attribute for me. He’s got good skills, good variations and is a brave bowler and he has single-handedly grown in stature in IPL. He was bought for INR 10 lakhs by RCB in 2013, and now he is beyond what it is and that shows he has improved over time and has shown his value. I’m sure he will be retained by the franchise.
“He is also a very good bowler abroad as well, a very important attribute to keep in mind when India travel to Australia for the next T20 World Cup. I am sure he will be on that flight to Australia. And I also know Rohit trusts him a lot. Their relationship is not just strong off the field, on the field they have some good conversations,” said Karthik.
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Chahal registered only four wickets in his name in seven games while playing in the India leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League, at an economy rate of 8.26. This eventually saw him fall out of contention for the race to India’s T20 World Cup squad, to Chahar, who picked up 11 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.21.
Not to forget, Chahal made a notable comeback in the second leg of the event, picking 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.06.
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