Why Harshal Patel not playing today: Why is Yuzvendra Chahal not playing today’s T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at the MCG?

Dixit Bhargav
|Published 23/10/2022

Why is Yuzvendra Chahal not playing: India have made a total of six changes to their Playing XI from their last T20I earlier this month.

During the 16th match of ICC T20 World Cup 2022 between India and Pakistan in Melbourne, India captain Rohit Sharma has won the toss and chose to field.

“We are going to field first. Looks like a good pitch. It’s always nice to bowl with overcast conditions. Think the ball will swing around a bit and we need to take its advantage. Preparations have been good,” Sharma told the broadcaster at the toss.

Much like Sharma, Pakistan captain Babar Azam also wanted to bowl first at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tonight. Confident of his team’s preparations as well, Azam laid emphasis on posting a challenging total against their arch-rivals.

“Toss is not in our hands but we would have liked to bowl first as well. We’ll try to post around 160-170. We have prepared well and we are ready for this big game,” Azam told the broadcaster at the toss.

Why is Yuzvendra Chahal not playing vs Pakistan today?

Having last played a T20I against South Africa in Delhi earlier this month, India have made as many as six changes to their Playing XI from that match.

Vice-captain KL Rahul, former captain Virat Kohli, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh are playing this match in place of wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant, batter Shreyas Iyer and fast bowlers Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj.

Out of these six players, only Pant and Patel are part of the current 15-member Indian squad for the World Cup. With Shami not only coming into the squad but also bowling a match-winning over against Australia in Brisbane warm-up match last week, he has pinned down Patel for the third pacer’s spot. Readers must note that Patel’s economy rate of 9.39 in 21 T20Is this year hasn’t worked in his favour.

Chahal, meanwhile, has been left out for spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Yet to play a T20 World Cup match, Chahal perhaps hasn’t been preferred for this match due to the presence of a couple of left-handed Pakistani batters. With India having already suffered at the hands of Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz once in 2022, they have included a spinner who turns the ball away from left-handed batters.

About the author
Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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