“If you are expecting runs from Chahal, what does that say about the team?” – Sunil Gavaskar trashes query on leg-spinner’s batting ability 

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar rubbished a query questioning Yuzvendra Chahal’s batting ability in comparison to T20 leg-spinners from other nations. The 73-year-old stated that if Chahal is expected to score runs, it doesn’t say a lot about the team’s batting prowess.

Chahal was among the 15 players named in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup that will be held in Australia from October 16 to November 13. Apart from the leg-spinner, the squad includes off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Axar Patel.

In a Q&A session on Sports Tak, Gavaskar was asked if Chahal’s lack of batting ability was hurting India in T20I matches. The bemused former cricketer replied:

“If you are expecting runs from Chahal, then what does that say about the team? If your top seven or eight batters don’t score runs, then it’s not fair to point fingers at Chahal’s batting, if he gets out in 2-3 balls.

“Chahal’s job is to take 2-3 wickets in four overs and not concede more than 30-35 runs. He did that very well in the Asia Cup,” Gavaskar added.

The former India skipper also backed the selectors’ decision to rest all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the T20I series against South Africa. Explaining why India need to handle Pandya with care, Gavaskar elaborated:

“We must remember that Hardik Pandya has recovered from a back injury a year and a half back. As the phrase goes, we have to wrap him up in cotton wool and use him. He can be India’s match-winner with both bat and ball. As a fielder, his direct hits from mid-off can result in run outs as well. We have to use him with care.”

Pandya has been a key figure in India’s white ball formats since making an international comeback on the back of a stellar IPL season for Gujarat Titans (GT).

“It’s good that we are in a tough group” – Sunil Gavaskar on India’s T20 World Cup challenge

India have been placed in Group 2 for the T20 World Cup 2022. Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh are the other teams in their group. According to Gavaskar, India being in the tougher of the two groups is a blessing in disguise. He stated:

“It’s good that we are in a tough group. It’s not going to be easy. But it’s good that we have strong opponents. It will prepare us for the semi-finals and finals (if India qualify).”

Team India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign by taking on Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.

Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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