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India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli reveals why Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav were not picked in T20I squad

India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday opened up on the reasons for exclusion of spinning duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the upcoming three-match T20I series against South Africa. Speaking to reporters in Dharamsala a day ahead of the 1st T20I against Proteas, the skipper said that the decision was taken to increase the depth in India’s lower batting order.

“The increased depth in batting was one of the reasons why Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were excluded. Also, we wanted to give opportunities to the guys who have done well over the last couple of years in domestic cricket and in IPL. It is about finding the best balance in the combination and not just sticking to only one combination,” he said.

“If all teams in the world are batting till 9 and 10, then why can’t we. So, you need to take those calls at some stage. Bringing both those guys together was also not taken by people at one stage. All the decisions are made to ensure that the team has the strongest balance that we can have,” he added.

Kohli further went on to say that seeing new guys expressing themselves on the field is exciting for a captain and team management. “Every time you are approaching a world tournament, you treat it as a milestone and start preparing backwards. Each team has the same process. We have around 30 games before the T20I World Cup. The first couple of series are an opportunity to try and see what our best combination could be,” he said.

“We want to see how much ability, character and composure the new additions have, to perform at the international level. It is quite exciting for the captain and management. Trying out different players in different combinations and to see how they perform. We have all gone through that process. So, it feels really good to see new players come in and express themselves,” he added.