Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has blamed wrong team selection for India’s defeat in the first T20I against Australia at Brisbane. Manjrekar feels that India’s decision to field Krunal Pandya instead of leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal costed the team 20 extra runs. India, meanwhile lost the match by four runs.
The former India batsman expressed his views about the Indian team selection on Twitter. He said in a tweet, ‘India paid the price for dropping Chahal. Krunal Pandya bowled 4 overs for 55 runs & no wicket. India would have been chasing 20 runs less in all likelihood if Chahal was playing. Play Krunal as batsman if you want to, but not as replacement to Chahal.’
India fielded three pacers in the playing eleven along with Krunal Pandya as the all-rounder at number seven. It meant the team could only play either Kuldeep Yadav or Chahal as the lead spinner. India went with Kuldeep and used Krunal as the second spinner.
The strategy backfired as Australia targeted Krunal’s left-arm spin on a surface which offered little turn and was good to bat on. Krunal was clobbered for 55 runs in his four overs with Glenn Maxwell smashing him to all parts of the ground. The Indian spinner gave away 23 runs in his third over and 17 runs in his fourth over.
Incidentally Manjrekar had tweeted on November 20, the day before the T20I game, that Krunal shouldn’t come in the team at the expense of Kuldeep or Chahal as he believed that the spin duo is India’s strength and the reason for the recent success.
Leg-spin bowler Chahal was an essential cog of India’s white-ball team that enjoyed success in the recent times. He along with Kuldeep gave India the crucial break-throughs in the middle overs and also kept a lid on the scoring rate. He has 44 wickets in 27 T0Is.