After India went down to South Africa by seven wickets in the second ODI on Friday, Sunil Gavaskar has stated that it is now time for the national team to look at Deepak Chahar in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Bhuvneshwar leaked 64 and 67 runs respectively in two ODIs, which India lost to the Proteas.
South Africa handed a seven-wicket defeat to India in the second ODI in Paarl on Friday, and claimed the series 2-0, with the final fixture to be played on Sunday in Cape Town. Team India's bowling unit displayed a below-average performance in both ODIs, in which the Men in Blue suffered harrowing defeats.
The Indian bowlers failed to dominate the South Africa batsmen in the first two fixtures in the three-match ODI series, and could manage only seven wickets from two games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who made his comeback in ODIs, leaked 64 and 67 runs in the two fixtures respectively, without taking a wicket.
Meanwhile, Deepak Chahar, who is part of the India ODI squad in South Africa, has been performing well in the last few years in the limited-over formats. Chahar made his ODI debut against Afghanistan in 2018, and has so far scalped six wickets from five matches. The 29-year-old also played an unbeaten knock of 69 runs, which proved to be match-winning innings against Sri Lanka during the second ODI in 2021.
With India set to host the ICC World Cup 2023, Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that it is time for India to look at Deepak Chahar in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The former Indian cricketer further added that Bhuvneshwar's slower deliveries and yorkers are not working anymore.
“I think it’s time to look at Deepak Chahar now. He is younger, pretty much the same kind of bowler, and bats handily down the order,” Gavaskar said on Sports Today.
“Bhuvi has been a tremendous servant of Indian cricket but in the last year or so, even in franchise level T20 cricket, he has been expensive. Not so much at the start of the innings but towards the end. He used to bowl those brilliant yorkers and slower deliveries, but those are not working anymore. That can happen, the opposition is studying you all the time and they will know how to be prepared for it. So maybe it is time to look at somebody else,” added the 1983-World Cup winner.
Gavaskar asserted that Team India should build a core team ahead of the 2023 World Cup, and the players must get the maximum number of ODIs to prepare well for the marquee event.
"Now the intention should be to look at what is going to be your core team for the 2023 World Cup in India. We have got a good 17-18 months to do that. The core team have got to get the maximum number of ODIs. There are matches coming against West Indies, Sri Lanka and later on against England. That is where you have got to give them the maximum number of matches so they are well prepared for the World Cup," said Gavaskar