New Delhi, Jan 22
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India's selection committee to include pace bowler Deepak Chahar in the core team for the 2023 World Cup, given that Bhuvneshwar Kumar's "brilliant yorkers" and "slower deliveries" are not working anymore.
Bhuvneshwar has been expensive in the two One-Day Internationals India have lost in South Africa, with the pace bowler giving away 64 and 67 runs, respectively without taking a wicket.
With India set to host the ICC 50-over World Cup next year, Gavaskar felt that Chahar should get a look-in as he is also a "handy" batter lower down in the order.
"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 on Saturday.
"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," Gavaskar opined.
Chahar has emerged as a viable option to replace Bhuvneshwar, taking wickets in all three T20 Internationals India played against New Zealand at home last year in November. Chahar's all-round abilities saw him record figures of 2/53 in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Colombo, when India toured the Island nation under Shikhar Dhawan last year. He then steered the tourists to victory with an 82-ball unbeaten 69 coming in at No.8.
Gavaskar said now is the time to work around preparing the team for the 2023 World Cup, to be held in October and November next year.
"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.