In what could be a hint of things to come, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has checked into the Indian team hotel for the T20 World Cup across Oman and UAE. While he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, with his side making an exit from the cash-rich league with a defeat in the Eliminator, he should have ideally flown back home with him not being part of the tournament.
However, Chahal's entry into Team India's designated hotel for the T20 World Cup suggests that he could be named in the squad, changes to which could be announced by October 15. This could be a massive development, as and when confirmed since Chahal was initially overlooked for a place in the team but due to his superb performance in the UAE leg of the IPL, he might have done enough to force the management to take notice and rethink their decision.
Notably, the wrist-spinner scalped 14 wickets from 8 matches in the UAE leg of the competition at an economy of 6.13, averaging 13.14 with a strike rate of 12.8. The figures are the best for a spinner in the Middle East in IPL 2021. With the World Cup set to happen on similar kind of surfaces, perhaps the selectors might have been tempted to go for Yuzi.
The speculations regarding his entry into Team India for T20 World Cup began with his Instagram story.
Check it out here:
Meanwhile, there are several other unanswered questiones with regards to Team India's revised squad announcement. For instance, while reports have claimed that all-rounder Hardik Pandya has not recovered enough to bowl in the world event, will it then make sense to have him in the squad purely as a batter? In case Hardik is replaced, seems like it could be Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar among frontrunners to replace him in the team.
A separate media report claimed that Kolkata Knight Riders' all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer is likely to be asked to stay with Team India in UAE as a cover for Hardik. But while Hardik provides a big-hitting option and strengthens the lower middle order, Iyer's exploits with the bat have come at the top of the order.
Meanwhile, the IPL 2021 final is nearing its climax with just three sides alive in the tournament. Chennai Super Kings have already secured their place in the final, the winner of the match between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders will join them for the titular clash in Dubai on October 15.
Two days later the T20 World Cup will commence but India's first game is only on October 24 against arch-rivals Pakistan.