Right arm leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal admitted to having unknowingly played with a fracture in the Indian Premier League (IPL), highlighting the importance of separate workout for the fingers and wrist.
Chahal revealed this during his appearance in the web show ‘Double Trouble’ where Indian women cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues have a candid chat with sportspersons. After their popular interaction with ace shuttler PV Sindhu, Sania Mirza and Rohit Sharma, the two invited India’s two best leg spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Poonam Yadav on their show.
With the global pandemic having brought the sporting world to a halt, cricketers have invented their own workouts at home to stay fit and trained. Poonam Yadav has come up with an innovative workout plan where she uses four bricks (two each side) as dumbbells.
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Meanwhile, Chahal recommended wringing out a wet towel for fingers and wrist exercise. “I found out later that I had four fractures. I have even played IPL with a fracture. Our fingers are very important for us. If they stop working, we will have to start working outside the ground,” said Chahal.
Both Yuzvendra and Poonam are leg-spinners, the best in the business with their trajectory. “Everyone goes for the easy things,” said Poonam on why she chose the specialisation. “Everyone takes the stairs but we are the ones to climb Mount Everest,” added Yuzvendra.
Advantage of height
Yuzvendra also admitted that they take advantage of their height during spinning. “Someone who is 6ft tall will not have that flight during spinning that we can take advantage of. You have more options of using the crease. A tall spinner’s hand will always come down, it can’t stay up. When a leg spinner dismisses a batsman, notice a pattern of leg-spinning in the wickets. I’m happy with my height if I would have been taller then I would have dreamt about becoming a medium pacer,” he said.
‘Cricket over chess’
It is a known fact that Chahal was a national champion of chess before he became a household name as a cricketer. Narrating his shift towards the outdoor sport, the 29-year old said, “My dad taught me chess as a side game when I was a kid in hope that I stay at home. Then he taught my sister how to play chess so we could keep playing with each other. I used to play 14-15 hours. I used to sleep at 5 am, wake up and have breakfast by 10 am, play till 2 pm, rest for an hour and play till 7 pm, and then play again from 11 pm to 5 am. So my sleeping pattern had become like that.”
“My dad told me I could leave it after becoming a national champion and when I did, I told him, “ab nahi ho payega dad (I can’t do it anymore). I want to play cricket now. This was after I played World Cup in Ahmedabad in 2003. That is when I completely changed my focus to cricket.”