“If Dravid feels that Chahal should bowl an over, obviously a message can be sent” – Ashish Nehra on the leg-spinner bowling only two overs in IND vs SA 2022 first T20I  

Former India pacer Ashish Nehra was left surprised by Rishabh Pant’s decision to give only two overs to Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner conceded 26 off his 2.1 overs in the first T20I against South Africa in Delhi on June 9.

Coming into the attack in the powerplay itself, Chahal conceded 16 runs off his very first over. While he came back strong, conceding just six in the next over of his spell, it was not until the final over that the 31-year-old was reintroduced. The lack of wickets in the middle overs hurt India as Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller stitched together an unbeaten 131-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Feeling that the decision to give a certain over to a bowler does not entirely have to come down to the captain, Nehra said on Cricbuzz:

“Rishabh Pant is a young captain, he will learn and hopefully he will get better. Now if Dravid feels that Chahal should bowl an over, obviously a message can be sent. They have to keep things simple and be proactive.”

Noting that Chahal should have been brought into the attack in the middle-overs to break the match-winning partnership, Nehra continued:

“It is very surprising to me that a bowler like him only bowled 2 overs today. He should have bowled to the van der Dussen-Miller pair, especially at the stage when South Africa were back in the chase. Rishabh Pant surely made a mistake over there. He also was frantic in the powerplay, using five bowlers for six overs.”

Only Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled two overs in the powerplay. The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya and Harshal Patel were given an over each as South Africa ended with 61-2 after six overs.

“India will have to see how to use him in a better way” – Parthiv Patel on Yuzvendra Chahal

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 Purple Cap winner was taken off the attack entirely after the eighth over. Fellow spinner Axar Patel completed his quota of overs and recorded figures of 1-40 in his spell.

Chahal bowled most of his overs at chinnaswamy. He knows how to bowl in small grounds. He is the form bowler. He comes back usually well. Did not complete his quota. Not sure that was the right move. #INDvsSA

Former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel feels that being a wicket-taking option, Chahal should have bowled more, irrespective of his bowling figures:

“He only bowled 2 overs today. Sometimes teams hold back leg spinners because there is a left hander batting. It is important to keep a wicket-taking option in the middle overs. If you have to stop a top-quality International batter, you will have to take his wicket, defensive bowling won’t work. They will have to see how to use him in a better way.”

South Africa registered their highest ever run chase in the shortest format with their victory over India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. India failed to defend the highest score ever registered at the venue following a record partnership between Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller.

Opining that the Proteas’ run-chase would have dented India’s mentality, Patel said:

“Being unable to defend 212 with six bowlers will hurt India’s mentality. You usually defend 212 on nine occasions out of 10. They will have to revisit their game plan.”

India will take on South Africa in the second T20I on June 12 (Sunday) at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The Temba Bavuma-led side currently lead the five-match series by 1-0.

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