Yuzvendra Chahal is among the leading leg spinners in world cricket but he can be more effective with better use of the crease, says former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed.
Ahmed, who has coached all around the world and is currently a consultant for his native team, said India’s ability to take wickets in the middle-overs in the limited overs format through Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has been a game-changer for them.
Both the wrist-spinners were brought into India’s limited overs set-up following the 2017 Champions Trophy. Though, of late, both Chahal and Kuldeep havn’t been playing together.
“Chahal is a very good bowler but can use the crease much better. He can go wide of the crease at times. You got to be smart enough to understand pitches. If it is a flat pitch, you can bowl stump to stump,” Ahmed, one of the best leg-spinners Pakistan has produced, told PTI.
“If the ball is gripping, you can go wide of the crease because you can trouble even the best of batsmen with that angle. That way your googly also doesn’t turn as much as the batsman expects and you end up taking a wicket.”
Chahal has taken 91 wickets in 52 ODIs at 25.83 and 55 wickets in 42 T20s at 24.34. He is not a huge turner of the ball but uses his variations very effectively.
Ahmed also feels the likes of Chahal and Kuldeep have benefitted immensely from former captain MS Dhoni’s advice from behind the stumps.
“You have got to be one step ahead of the batsman. You should know your field position as per the batsman’s strength. I always say attack with fielders not with the ball. If you understand that theory, you will always be successful,” the 49-year-old, who played 52 Tests and 144 ODIs, said.
“India has become a force to reckon with in all three formats as it uses its bowlers really well. Dhoni was a master at getting the best out of his bowlers in limited overs cricket and now you have Virat Kohli.”
Ahmed picked Chahal, Australia’s Adam Zampa and Pakistan’s Shadab Khan among the top leg-spinners in white-ball cricket. He also said the art of leg-spin remains relevant more than ever.
“You need leg-spinners and mystery spinners in your team as they have the ability to take wickets at any stage of the game. I see a lot of them coming through in the next 10-15 years.
“Most batsmen now like playing express pace but with a good leg-spinner in the team, you are always in the game,” added member of the 1992 World Cup-winning squad.
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