'How long will you stretch your batting?' - Shoaib Akhtar's blunt take on Yuzvendra Chahal's World Cup omission

Yuzvendra Chahal didn't get selected in both Asia Cup and World Cup squads.

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Shoaib Akhtar, Arshdeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal
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Shoaib Akhtar, Arshdeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup 2023 which they will be hosting from October 05 onwards. While most of the expected names featured on the roster for the cricketing extravaganza, there were a few who missed out on the opportunity to represent their country in the biggest tournament of all.

One such player is wrist spinner Yuzevndra Chahal, who had been a regular member of the team in the lead-up to the World Cup. However, he surprisingly didn’t find himself in the scheme of things with the mega even just one month away. Commenting on Chahal’s exclusion, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar criticised India’s strategy of extending their batting through all-rounders highlighting the importance of a varied bowling attack.

“How they have not selected Chahal is beyond me. But the problem with the Indian team is that when they get out for 150 or 200, it’s not the batsmen but the bowlers who will have to perform. How long will you stretch your batting line-up? If the first five batsmen couldn’t do anything, then what will the No. 7 or No. 8 do? So, I literally believe that you’re playing with one bowler less,” said at a press conference organised by Star Sports.

Akhtar further stated that India should’ve picked left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh as well to further add variety to their bowling.

“And again, I think Arshdeep needed to be in the squad because under pressure, when you are playing against someone like Pakistan, then you need that left-handed seamer,” he added.

Arshdeep Singh yet to pick a wicket in ODIs

Notably, Arshdeep has been phenomenal in T20Is ever since making his international debut in July 2022. The left-arm seamer has picked 50 wickets in 33 matches at an average of 18.98. However, he’s yet to pick a wicket in ODI cricket after playing three matches.

On the other hand, Yuzendra Chahal had good numbers in ODIs since 2021 averaging just over 26 with the ball with 29 wickets from 18 matches. However, Chief Selector Agarkar stated that Kuldeep Yadav pipped him with his resurgence in the 50-over format since 2022 along with Axar Patel who can contribute with the bat as well.

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