Chahal had a poor T20I series in West Indies, managing only five wickets in five matches as the hosts stunned the Men in Blue 3-2. Heading into selection day for Asia Cup, the 33-year-old’s place was under the scanner. Eventually, India decided to go with Axar Patel over Chahal owing to the batting ability that the former offers.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, De Villiers said about his former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate’s exclusion from the Indian team for the Asia Cup, “It is a bit of a disappointing drop for me as well. I think Yuzi is always handy with that leg-spinning option. We know how skillful and smart he can be. But the decision has been made and it is what it is.”
The South African legend also added that he is excited to see lead Indian pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah back in action. The latter made his international comeback after 11 months during the T20I series in Ireland. It was an impressive return as he was named Player of the Series for his fine efforts with the ball.
“Bumrah even won the Man of the Series in Ireland, coming back from injury, which shows you what kind of talent he is. I have heard the coaches say that he has never been away. I am not surprised at all with Bumrah’s performance and it's exciting to see him in form,” De Villiers said about the Indian pace bowler.
India will begin their Asia Cup 2023 campaign by taking on arch-rivals Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2. They will next face Nepal on September 4 and will progress to the Super Fours if they get the right results. If all goes well, India and Pakistan could meet a total of three times in the Asia Cup including in the final.
India’s squad for Asia Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
--By A Cricket Correspondent