Ravi Bishnoi or Yuzvendra Chahal? Who is India's choice in T20Is now? A question that the BCCI think tank might be facing now as they look to bolster their armoury for the T20 World Cup 2024. A young prodigy Bishnoi was recently adjudged the Player of the Series in India's 4-1 series win over Australia. But has he come this far that he has pushed India's leading T20I wicket-taker out of the race from T20 WC?
Bishnoi's performance has been praised by many. The fact that he has been picked for both the T20I series - against Australia and South Africa - shows the selectors are rewarding him and backing him at the same time. Meanwhile, Chahal was not in the Australia series and will not feature in South Africa T20Is either. The next World Cup will be played in the West Indies and USA and the Caribbean surfaces tend to be slow but flat at times too. The slowness can help the spinners. However, it looks like Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja are India's first two choices in limited-overs. This leaves less space for two more spinners to come and it can well go down to a toss-up between Bishnoi and Chahal for the T20 tournament in June.
Bishnoi vs Chahal
In the ongoing year, the 23-year-old Bishnoi has played 11 T20Is, while the 33-year-old Chahal has been part of 9. The former has 18 wickets in those games, while Chahal has scalped 9. Bishnoi is quicker off the surface. He skids the ball and got most of his wickets in the Australia series via googlies. Chahal goes wide of the off-stump and likes to tempt the batters from there.
T20I career stats
Talking about the stats of the duo, there is a stark contrast in the games played by these two. Bishnoi has a brilliant average and economy in the games he has played but that can well decline when his career gets longer. Chahal has played 80 T20Is and has picked 96 wickets in the format. He averages 25.09 and bowls at an economy of 8.19. On the other hand, Bishnoi has better stats to show. In the 21 T20Is, Bishnoi has picked 34 wickets at an average of 17.38 and boasts an economy of 7.14. This shows that Bishnoi looks better but as said, a longer career can take these stats down a bit.
T20I bowling phase-wise
Now, let's take a look at the stats of these two in the three bowling phases - powerplay, middle overs and death overs in T20Is. The 33-year-old has bowled in 76 out of 79 innings in the middle phase. He has picked 76 wickets and has an economy of 8.05. In the powerplay, Chahal has bowled in 36 innings and has 13 wickets and an economy of 8.36. At the death, he has been given the ball in 13 innings, where has has 7 wickets and an economy of 10.34.
Bishnoi has bowled in the middle in all of his 21 innings. He has 23 wickets in that phase at an economy of 7.11. The 23-year-old has bowled in powerplay in 13 innings out of 21 and has 9 wickets and an economy of 6.93. At the death, Bishnoi has bowled in 5 innings, has 2 wickets and an economy of 8.20.
As per the form and stats, it looks like Bishnoi is ahead of Chahal as of now but his performance in the upcoming series, then against Afghanistan and the IPL could be well crucial in deciding his fate for the T20 World Cup. The return of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja can also put pressure on him. India have to play only six T20Is from now till the 20-over World Cup with IPL sandwiched in between.
India's T20I squad for South Africa series:
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (C), Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Deepak Chahar