Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad revealed that the decision to back the two wrist spinners in limited overs format, over the experience of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja was a very tough decision to make.
However, with Chahal and Kuldeep picking 21 wickets in last three ODI games against South Africa on South African pitches has proved Prasad correct.
"I wasn't surprised at all. I have always had the faith that both of them were wicket-takers. If you see in the last three games they have taken 21 wickets, which is incredible. I'm sure with the backing they get from the team management and the skipper, their confidence levels will keep going up with every game," Prasad, who is in Chennai to look at the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, said.
"We have 6-7 good quality pacers, a person who has scored a triple-hundred in Test (Karun Nair) is waiting in the wings. Similarly we thought of increasing the spinners' base. Fundamentally, we started off with an idea to increase the variety in our spin department. And time and again they have proved us right," he added.
"I still maintain the same thing that I have been saying every time. We have given opportunity to the youngsters. Whatever tournament comes up, the best possible combination will be taken into consideration. The next World Cup is 16 months away so who is going to play and who is not is too early to say," Prasad said about World Cup 2019.
Talking about the recently concluded Test series against South Africa, Prasad said, "In fact in their own den, we have bowled better than them except for the one spell (Vernon) Philander bowled in Cape Town. It's not only potential, but the toughness that our players have. We will definitely do well in both England and Australia. I am sure that no opposition will take us for granted. If they give seaming tracks, we know what we can do.”
Prasad backed the team management's take in the controversial selections, saying "It's easy to talk from outside. What is best for the team at that given point of time, that's what the team management decides on. May be at that point of time the team might have thought, going by form, going by the wicket and maybe going by the combination that we are looking at. The beauty of the team is that these boys are ready to sacrifice their places for the sake of the side.”