Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's return to the ODI squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series in South Africa has flummoxed former India spinner Harbhajan Singh. India will play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 3 Tests on the tour in December-January.
Chahal was recalled to the ODI team after his last appearance in the format for Team India came in January this year. Notably, the leg-spinner was absent from the Indian squads for the Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup 2023, and he was even not picked for the ongoing T20I series against Australia at home.
On the tour of South Africa, Chahal didn't make it to the T20I squad, a decision that didn't sit well with Harbhajan Singh. He believes that Chahal is India’s best white-ball spinner and deserves more than what he called a lollipop.
Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel: “There is no Yuzvendra Chahal in T20 format. You kept him in ODIs but not T20Is. They just gave him a lollypop to suck on. We won't take in the format where you do well but will take for other formats. It's beyond my understanding.”
The 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup winner also said that it would be really tough for Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav to make a comeback after they were excluded from the Test squad.
He noted, “I think the road is tough for a comeback. They have served Indian cricket, and are renowned cricketers. The board should have had a chat with them. They should have been informed why they are not picked and what is a possible path for them in their careers.”
Harbhajan signed off by saying, “South Africa tour is not easy. It's tough for batters. There you won't have Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Youth are indeed getting opportunities. It's a good thing. But I don't think that selectors had a chat with Rahane, Pujara, or Umesh Yadav because whenever Yadav has played in Tests, he has performed.”