Harbhajan Singh has claimed that he was left surprised by the Indian team management’s handling of wrist spinning duo - Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The world cup winning spinner leapt to the defense of Yadav and Chahal as he added that the former should have played in the semis.
The Indian cricket team bowed out of the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2019 after falling to an 18-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the first semi-final. The Kiwis were narrowly outplayed in the finals as they lost to hosts’ England by virtue of conceding more boundaries after the super over also ended in a tie.
However, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh felt things could have been different for the Indian team had the team management handled the two spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - in a more effective manner. Yadav ended his campaign with seven wickets at an economy rate of 5.02 while Chahal got 12 wickets with a more expensive economy rate of 5.97.
"You should remember that there wasn't a Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan or Anil Kumble playing the World Cup. The only team which had two quality spinners who could win matches on their own was India. But I was a little surprised with the handling of Chahal and Kuldeep during the campaign," Harbhajan told TOI.
Harbhajan, who was part of the Indian playing XI that lifted the ICC World Cup trophy in 2011 on home soil, was quick to defend the wrist spinning duo as he added that Yadav should have been included in the playing XI in the semi-final loss to New Zealand.
"Kuldeep bowled that magic delivery against Pakistan. He gets quite a bit of turn on any surface and most importantly, New Zealand batsmen don't play him well. I was surprised why he wasn't in the playing XI in the semis.
"Chahal wasn't bad, the teams played him with respect and it was only the England game with small square boundaries where he was taken apart," Bhajji added.
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