File photo of Sunil Gavaskar.© AFP
With Mohammed Shami testing positive for COVID-19 shortly before India’s home T20I series against Australia, Umesh Yadav – who had last played a T20I in 2018 – was called up as a replacement. He was also directly fast-tracked to the playing XI with Jasprit Bumrah not risked in the opening match, ahead of Deepak Chahar, who was in the squad and is a standby player for the T20 World Cup that starts next month. Umesh picked up two wickets in his two overs, but was also rather expensive as India lost the series opener.
Legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar said that the team management needs to be asked as to why Umesh was played ahead of Deepak Chahar, as the latter is part of India’s World Cup plans and may be called up to the main squad if any of the other pacers get injured, and would hence benefit by getting some overs under his belt during the build-up to the mega event.
“I think it’s a question best addressed to team management as to what their thinking was to take someone like Umesh Yadav, who is not even in the reserves or the standbys for the World Cup and not playing Deepak Chahar,” Gavaskar said during a discussion on Sports Today.
“Deepak Chahar is also coming out of an injury. But you need these leg miles under your belt before you go into a big tournament like the World Cup. If you got a Deepak Chahar as a standby bowler and suddenly in Australia somebody gets injured and he has to come in, he is not going to do a proper job because he wouldn’t get the rhythm,” he said.
“So that is a question best addressed at the next media conference to the team management as to why they picked Umesh Yadav and not Deepak Chahar. Unless of course Chahar had a niggle, which we don’t know anything about,” he concluded.
Topics mentioned in this article