There were a few surprises in the first T20I match between India and Australia. First, the team management did not pay Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been one of the key performers for the side in the recent past and then, Virat Kohli did not walk out to bat at his preferred number three position. Both these decisions have left Sunil Gavaskar and Harbhajan Singh bemused.
Harbhajan has questioned the management's decision to bench Chahal and play Krunal in his behalf while Gavaskar has expressed his surprise with Kohli batting at number 4.
"That (team combination) is something that they have to look at. Whenever Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvendra) Chahal have bowled together, they have taken wickets, put pressure on the opposition and they have been quite successful as a pair. That is where the Indian cricket team have to think about what is the combination going forward," Harbhajan told India Today.
'Kohli should always bat at number 3'
Harbhajan also said that Krunal is someone who generally does not spin the ball and this is where the team management could play Chahal in his place for the 2nd T20I in Melbourne.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar was not too impressed with the team's decision to drop Virat Kohli to the number 4 slot. KL Rahul walked out at number 3 and although he looked good in his brief stay, Gavaskar wants Kohli to take control of the innings at first drop.
"I don't think Kohli should have batted at No.4. In the first match of the tour, you want to bat on the position you generally bat on. It is only when you have won a series, you take such chances," Gavaskar said in the post-match show of the match.
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke too agreed with the observation and said that he prefers Kohli facing maximum balls and batting for the major chunk of the innings.
"Virat Kohli is that batsman who can come in, take a few balls and bat till the end and win you games. I would want to see him bat up the order at No.3. He can even open but not go down the order," Clarke said.
India play the second T20 match of the series at Melbourne on Friday, November 23.