India have had a long list of injured players over the last couple of months, leading to few missing the T20 World Cup. But depth in the Indian squad has allowed the team management to find appropriate alternates. However, few of these injured players seem have been overshadowed by the either impressive shows from the replacements or due to to the busy schedule of the Indian team which has managed to shift the focus onto the next series. Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra raised a hard-hitting question for the selectors of one of these players during the opening game of the India-New Zealand T20I series.
Harshal Patel had broken into the Indian set-up after the forgettable 2021 T20 World Cup. On the back of an impressive IPL run, Harshal was given a rather long run in the Indian T20I side as a specialist bowler. In the build-up to the 2022 T20 World Cup, he featured in 21 matches, picking 22 wickets.
ALSO READ: Watch: MS Dhoni waves at Ranchi crowd during India vs New Zealand 1st T20I; spectators’ response is pure gold
An injury later ruled him out of the Asia Cup. He returned for the T20 World Cup, but was among the only two players to not have played a single game in the tournament. He then featured in only one game each in the New Zealand series and the Sri Lanka series post the World Cup and has now not been picked for the contest against New Zealand.
“What’s the update on Harshal Patel? Is he still nursing an injury? He was our T20 specialist leading into the World Cup…didn’t get to play in Aus. Haven’t seen him since. #IndvNZ,” tweeted Aakash.
It seems unlikely that the selectors would go back to Harshal, now 32 years of age. With the T20 World Cup next year, India are looking at younger pace options in Shivam Mavi, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.