Yuzvendra Chahal has revealed that the confidence showed in him by India captain Virat Kohli has helped him perform better in limited-overs cricket. The leg-spinner said that Kohli has asked him to attack and such faith helps him to pick wickets.
“Virat bhai has always told me that even if I concede runs, if I get him a couple of wickets in the middle overs, he won’t mind. In T20s, he told me if I go for 35 runs in 4 overs but pick two or three wickets, he will be happy.
“However, in the last T20 at Trivandrum, in my second over, the plan was (to restrict) not to go for wickets because if I attacked, I would have had to flight the ball and either I would have got a wicket or got hit for a six,” Chahal was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
In both ODI series against Australia and more recently against New Zealand, Chahal has been bowling top stuff. He helped India win the Kolkata ODI and later against the Kiwis, he managed to pick wickets in the middle overs especially in the Kanpur match.
“Against Munro at Kanpur, I bowled a slower ball, he got beaten and there was an appeal for stumping. I got a clue he liked to stand and deliver, and doesn’t believe in leaning into his shot.
“I thought I could bowl a little up and if I am getting turn that will be my plus point. I wanted him to go over cover as it was inside the circle. The flight was good, it dipped and he played without leaning into the shot. The risk involved was very high,” he said.
Chahal has mixed-up his deliveries well. Against Glenn Maxwell and Kane Williamson, he has focused on bowling outside the off-stump and got their wickets while players like Martin Guptill, he has preferred bowling on the middle-stump.
“Our coaching staff has really helped (in attacking middle-stump). On the field, Mahi bhai (Dhoni) reads the situation very well, so he tells how to plan. The ball outside off-stump is a variation but my strength is to keep hitting the spot. At the same time if I am bowling slowly and the ball isn’t turning, the batsman is caught in two minds, (not sure) it will turn or not.”
The Haryana spinner also said that he doesn’t put extra pressure on himself while bowling in dew and tries to be mentally strong to counter that point. He also praised his fellow spinner Axar Patel.
“Dew will be there at this time of the year, but I simply don’t think about it. If you do, your focus wavers from bowling. There is no point putting unnecessary pressure on you.
“You have to be mentally strong and back yourself saying ‘I will bowl well no matter what’. Once you do that the thought of tackling dew goes away completely. Then you can focus on how to plan a batsman’s dismissal.”
“Axar, although he is not a great turner of the ball, contains runs. Then I and Kuldeep can take our chances.”