India announced their 20-man squad for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and an away series against England last week.
The squad selection has caught the eyes of cricketing pundits as eminent players like Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been excluded.
Rahul Dravid too adumbrated the reason on Sunday (May 9) behind dropping Kuldeep.
Talking about the same, former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria shared his views and complimented the neighbours for having a strong squad. However, Kaneria opined that the Indian team lacked a wrist spinner.
“India has selected quite a strong team. Overall, their squad is good. But the thing to note is that they have not selected a wrist spinner. They have finger spinners – Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja – but they don’t have a wrist spinner – a right arm leg-spinner,” Kaneria told PTI on Tuesday.
Expounding the same, the Karachi-born added that in seaming conditions of England, a finger spinner could contain. Still, a wrist spinner could take wickets and impact the opposition’s scoreboard.
“Where there are seam conditions, a leg spinner is very useful and that’s why I had a successful tenure when I played county cricket. So, it is a little concerning that there is no leg spinner in the team. Finger spinners can contain but having a finger spinner and a wrist spinner can make an impact on the team,” the former-Essex cricketer explained.
When asked about his choice of tweaker for the team, Kaneria was quick to nominate Rahul Chahar’s name. The 40-year-old pointed out that New Zealand has a leg spinner in the form of Ish Sodhi. Similarly, the opponents should also choose the right-arm leg break bowler Chahar, who has performed well in the IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians (MI). Kaneria further reasoned that Chahar’s height could also be advantageous.
“Rahul Chahar, his height, the way he delivers the ball, he should have been in the team. New Zealand has Ish Sodhi, a tall leg spinner and Virat Kohli always struggles against a leg spinner as we saw it with (Adam) Zampa. So, I feel if there is a place open for a leg spinner than Chahar, who has played for Mumbai Indians and India and has performed well, has googly, flipper and leg-spin, could have been useful,” Pakistan star asserted.
Concluding his talks, the Pakistan veteran revealed the reason behind his peculiar choice. The highest Test wickets taking spinner for Pakistan remarked that the regularly preferred wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is out of form, whereas left-arm chinaman Kuldeep has shown little confidence while bowling leaving no option but to choose Chahar.
“(White ball specialist) Yuzvendra Chahal is a senior bowler but he is struggling with form, Kuldeep Yadav is lacking confidence so Chahar is one player, who can be groomed for Test cricket as well and he can be very useful,” Kaneria reckoned.