Yuzvendra Chahal was added to the playing XI of the Indian cricket side while Umran Malik was replaced for the second Twenty20 International against New Zealand. Chahal, however, only bowled four overs in the game despite being sent in to offer wickets on a “spin-friendly” surface. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that the decision came as a “huge surprise” when asked about it by Captain Hardik Pandya. Even so, Gambhir admitted 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 concurs that young players like Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Mavi should be given a chance, but he also believes that if Chahal had bowled his entire allotted number of overs, New Zealand would have been dismissed for 80 or 85 runs. Gambhir described it as a “huge surprise” that Hardik preferred to make Deepak Hooda bowl four overs.
“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.