Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were India’s Trump card for close to 2 years in limited overs cricket. The leg spinners won many matches for India while bowling in tandem and bamboozling the opposition batsmen.
However they lost form in 2019 and slowly found themselves out of the team. While Kuldeep’s fall was more visible, Chahal lost his wicket taking ability slowly. Since the end of the 2019 World Cup, Chahal averaged 37.12 in ODIs and had gone at an economy rate of 6.45.
Accordingly he was replaced by Rahul Chahar, another leggie in the pecking order. Now with India touring Sri Lanka, Chahal once again has got an opportunity to prove that he has not completely forgotten his skills.
Before the series began, Chahal was asked about the same. To that, the right arm spinner replied :
“I keep having conversations with the bowling coach. They have given us confidence, and that’s why I’m here. If it wasn’t there, no one in the team. My main focus at the moment is just this series – there’s been lesser cricket over the last year, but that’s not in our hands.
Whatever series happens, we want to perform. After this series, my focus will be on the IPL, and only then the T20 World Cup. Right now, I’m focusing on this tour only.”
I’ve a couple of variations and I’m focusing on that only, not using other deliveries. You will see a more confident Yuzi in this series. I’m just working on my angles and in general trying to bowl more.”
Strikes with first ball!
True to his words, Chahal showed a glimpse of his old self. The leggie looked more confident from ball one as he struck on the very first ball of his spell.
It was the start of 10th over and Chahal came to bowl. The batsman at the crease was Avishka Fernando who had played well for his 32. On the first ball of the over, Chahal bowled a flighted delivery to the batsman. Accordingly, he went for a drive over covers but could only give a simple catch to the fielder present there.
Hence, Sri Lanka lost their first wicket as Chahal celebrated the much needed success.
Watch the video of the wicket here: