Chahal discloses looking up to Dhoni for advice: The Indian leg-spinner was wax lyrical about the veteran wicket-keeper batsman.
The last year and a half has seen leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal become India’s regular member in limited-over formats. There was a brief period in the middle when others were picked ahead of him but him coming back with a couple of match-winning performance recently again pressed his case.
In 40 ODIs, Chahal has picked up 71 wickets at an average of 23.83, an economy rate of 4.80 and a strike rate of 29.7. A five-wicket haul each in Australia and South Africa further raise his stakes of playing ahead of any other spinner in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“We possess a lot of variations”
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Chahal reflected on his bowling partnership with fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Highlighting both of them possessing variations, Chahal said that they have the freedom to look for wickets in the middle overs.
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“Both Kuldeep [Yadav] and I are wicket-taking bowlers. We possess a lot of variations between us. Even when we are going for runs, the mandate is that we have to go for wickets as that can dent the opposition. We have the freedom to go for wickets and always go for them. In the middle overs, if you keep chipping in with wickets you can cover even if you have gone for runs early on,” Chahal was quoted as saying.
In all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, the duo of Chahal and Yadav has received ample support in the form of a sixth bowling option. Laying importance on the same, Chahal explained how the opposition batsmen fail to score against the off-spin bowler.
“Also, someone like Kedar is important. He can give you the sixth bowler’s option, can fill in overs if someone is going for runs and can also be given full quota if need arises. He has a different action and has a lot of variations. His deliveries stay low and are difficult to score of as the batsmen can’t get underneath them,” he said.
“MS Dhoni is chilled out”
A primary reason behind the success of Indian spinners in the recent times is former captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Often spotted helping these young spinners, Dhoni backs their craft by his efficient stumping dismissals.
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Opening up on Dhoni, Chahal hailed the veteran cricketer’s ability to read the wicket extremely well. The 28-year old cricketer also highlighted Dhoni’s importance in the death overs when captain Virat Kohli fields at the boundary.
“He [MS Dhoni] is chilled out. He always helps with what to bowl as he reads the wicket extremely well. He has been a skipper for years, his thinking is very clear. Also, he is a wicketkeeper, so watches things very closely.
“Especially, towards the end, when Virat [Kohli] is in the deep, say long on or long off, and it is difficult to speak to him every now and then, Mahi (Dhoni) is the man I look up to for advice,” Chahal added.
Much like their plentiful fans, Chahal also let out that some players of the team indulge in battles on PUBG when not playing cricket. “There are 4-5 of us in the team that are into playing PUBG. Mahi, Rishabh [Pant], Manish [Pandey], [Mohammed] Shami, we all love playing it,” Chahal further added.