The Indian cricket team made one big change in playing XI for the 2nd T20I against New Zealand, roping in Yuzvendra Chahal as a replacement for Umran Malik. However, despite being brought in to provide wickets on a ‘spin-friendly’ surface, Chahal only bowled four overs in the match. When former India cricketer, Gautam Gambhir, was asked about this decision by skipper Hardik Pandya, he admitted that it was a ‘massive surprise’. Gambhir even said that he “can’t answer this question”.
“Massive surprise. I can’t answer this question, that too on a wicket like this. Chahal is your No. 1 spinner in the T20 format. Just asking him to bowl two overs and in that he got the important wicket of Finn Allen and then not using his full quota of overs makes no sense to me,” Gambhir said on Star Sports after the conclusion of the match.
Gambhir agreed that younger players like Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Mavi need to be given an opportunity but he is also of the opinion that had Chahal completed his full quota of overs, New Zealand would’ve been bowled out for 80 or 85. The fact that Hardik preferred to make Deepak Hooda bowl 4 overs was a ‘massive surprise’ for Gambhir.
“Yes, you want to give young guys another opportunity like Arshdeep Singh or Shivam Mavi. But then you could have bowled Chahal in the last over as well, or earlier. So I feel he missed a trick. He could have gotten New Zealand bowled for maybe 80 or 85 and on this kind of pitch, you don’t want to let the opposition off the hook. Massive surprise, asking Hooda to bowl four overs but not Chahal,” said Gambhir.