The crafty leg-spinner has made the most of the opportunities that have come his way and earned his berth in the World Cup squad. Yuzvendra Chahal can be handful by himself, given his control over line and length, but when he teams up with left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, they bring an exciting, even tantalising, dimension to the Indian attack as the pair torments the batsmen with their guile and tests their patience.
He thinks on his feet and that lets him deceive batsmen in the air and off the pitch. Besides the variety that is a part of a leg-spin bowler’s repertoire, the 28-year-old has enormous quantities of patience and a large heart, so essential for the contemporary spin bowler against batsmen with bludgeons for bats. The former chess player brings intelligence to the table that stands him in good stead, especially when batsmen are looking to dominate him by getting on the front foot.
In his three years in international cricket, he has already dealt with having to spend some time on the sidelines. But he has almost always come back and performed to remain in the mix. His two five-wicket hauls have come in conditions away from home, against South Africa in Centurion and Australia in Melbourne. These spark hope that Chahal would deliver the goods in England during the World Cup this season, though he has just two wickets in three matches there.
There have been times when India have picked Chahal as the premier wrist-spinner ahead of Kuldeep Yadav, just to surprise the rival teams that sometimes have played the left-arm bowler a lot more frequently. And the leg-spinner has shouldered that burden with a fair measure of comfort, doing what his team expects him to do — in terms of taking wickets and cramping the rivals’ scoring rate.
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