India need to show intent of scoring 220 consistently without Kuldeep, Chahal in T20Is: Former Indian opener
India did not include the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the ongoing series against South Africa, prompting debate in the cricket fraternity. When asked about the decision to drop the premier spin pair, Indian captain Virat Kohli had insisted that the team management is focusing on increasing the batting depth in the shortest format of the game - the reason why all-rounders were preferred over Kuldeep and Chahal.
Both Kuldeep and Chahal were mainstays in India's bowling attack in the run-up to the ICC World Cup 2019. However, the duo returned with a total 18 wickets failing to make a real impact at the showpiece event. Chahal was arguably the better performer between the duo and played one game more than Kuldeep, who managed to make seven appearances returning with only six wickets. With their non-selection in the T20I series against West Indies and South Africa, it's all but clear that India are looking beyond the duo in the shortest format.
However, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes the decision to sideline both the spinners could well backfire for the Men in Blue, who according to him, are trying to implement a similar strategy as England. Chopra said like England in ODIs, India will have to look to score big in T20Is if they are to play more all-rounders and not pure bowlers in the eleven.
“The idea is if you have that much depth in batting you bat a certain way. You can’t bat conservatively if you have that kind of depth. That is what England did. They changed the template completely. They focused on batting deep as they wanted to score 400 (in ODIs) and they achieved it many times,” Chopra told PTI.
“It looks India is wanting to take the same aggressive approach in T20s and there is nothing wrong in that. Now, they need to start showing the intent of scoring 220 consistently. Batting till 8, 9 and 10 is still ambitious (as you don’t need them at all in a 20 over game) but if you are trying to score 220 it is fine,” he added.
Chopra further reckoned that Chahal will be back in the reckoning as he gives captain Kohli an attacking edge in the bowling department with his ability to continuously look for wickets. “Chahal will be back. Rahul Chahar is more a bowler and Washington Sundar’s batting at number 8 may not be needed anyway,” Chopra said.