Absence of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav from India's T20I squad since the tour of West Indies has raised eyebrows everywhere but chief selector MSK Prasad cleared the air saying the leg-spin duo is pretty much part of the future plans in the shortest format.
"In order to bring variety in the spin bowling department, we have been trying youngsters keeping in view of the T20 World Cup in Australia," Prasad told India Today having not picked the duo for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa either.
"Chahal and Kuldeep have been outstanding performers in the shorter formats in the last two years. They are definitely ahead in the race now. It’s just that we are trying a few other options now."
The chairman of the national selection panel is also quite happy with the way Indian cricket been able to groom a lot of youngsters in this phase.
"In shorter formats, we have seen Shreyas Iyer emerging as a matured batsman who can play to the situations and demands of the team and deliver accordingly. Similarly, we have seen (Navdeep) Saini, Krunal (Pandya), Washington (Sundar) progressing well in shorter formats," he said.
Prasad then heaped effusive praise on Hanuma Vihari for his brilliant performances during the Test series against West Indies recently.
"In the longer format, we have seen solid performances from young Vihari. He was clearly the stand out performer in this series apart from Bumrah, who was outstanding with the ball. I am also very happy with the form of Ajinkya Rahane because he is very crucial for the success of Indian team in this format," he concluded.
(Inputs from India Today)