Harbhajan wants Kuldeep-Chahal for 2nd New Zealand ODI: Here's why
Hosts New Zealand came up with an uplifting performance to trounce visitors India in the opening ODI on February 5. Despite India posting a challenging total, the Kiwis registered their highest chase in the format. As India look to stay alive in the series, former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh wants Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to feature in the crucial second ODI.
How did the first ODI pan out?
The Indian openers added 50 runs for the first wicket, however, both fell in quick succession. Post that, skipper Virat Kohli and Iyer added a 102-run stand for the third wicket. Iyer brought up his ton and added 146 runs alongside KL Rahul(86). In reply, Kiwis won the match by four wickets. Henry Nicholls (78), Taylor (109*) and Latham (69) were the chief architects.
Harbhajan feels Kiwis would be vulnerable against spin
Talking to Star Sports, Harbhajan said that Kiwis have the tendency to go after the pacer on any given day. However, they have always struggled against the spinners. "You can get those wickets in the middle overs. So I would like to see both the spinners (Kuldeep and Chahal) play together. Maybe, leave out Kedar Jadhav and play an extra spinner," he said.
Kuldeep-Chahal have made tremendous impact in ODIs
Playing together, Kuldeep and Chahal have so far featured in 76 ODIs. They have won on 54 occasions and lost 18, with a win-loss ratio of three. Against New Zealand, the two have won six of the 10 ODIs and have lost the remainder, with a win-loss ratio of 1.500. In New Zealand, they have played six ODIs together, winning four of them.
Chahal hasn't played many ODIs since 2019 World Cup
Considering the recent form of both the players, there is a notable observation. Following India's 2019 ICC World Cup campaign, Chahal has played just an ODI, where he claimed a wicket for 32. Meanwhile, Kuldeep has since played nine matches and claimed 11 wickets at an average of 44.72, with his best spell of 3/52. Thus, Chahal surely deserves a go this time.