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There was a feeling that I have forgotten my bowling run-up: Yuzvendra Chahal

After such a long layoff, Yuzvendra Chahal believes whoever adapts to conditions better will hold the edge

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai |
Updated: September 10, 2020 1:49:59 pm
Yuzvendra Chahal will be seen in action in the upcoming IPL. (Source: RCB)

Yuzvendra Chahal was busy at home during the lockdown, from gymming to TikTok to meeting someone special and getting engaged. Before he left for the United Arab Emirates to play in the IPL, Chahal spoke to The Indian Express about the last five months, his cricket, and how he became a TikTok star.

Excerpts:

How did you handle the lockdown period, apart from posting videos on TikTok?

It was too long a break, I didn’t want it this long (Bahut jyaada lamba ho gaya). When the lockdown happened, I ordered gym equipment at my home and for the first two months, I worked out. Then I took a 12-day break. During unlock, I went out to bowl but then the rains came. So, I had to stop cricket for a while. I have got to spend this much quality time with my family after 14-15 years as I have been on the road for a long time.

You got engaged, had the roka ceremony of course…

The roka was the only positive experience I had this lockdown (laughs). To kill time, I went to learn dance and there I met my to-be wife. She is a choreographer.

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What will be the challenges going into the IPL?

We will get ample time to practise in the UAE before the IPL starts. We will get 15 days. It will be too early to say at the moment how things will go at the ground but the most important thing is cricket will be restarting. I didn’t think too much about IPL at home, I just wanted to go with the flow.

How challenging will be to get that rhythm and the old momentum for a spinner?

It will be the same for everyone, including the batsmen. Everyone was at home. It’s not that someone else was practising at some place. It will come down to who adapts to conditions quickly and comes back in form. It will the same story for everyone.

Did you fear about missing out certain elements in your bowling when you returned to the game?

I felt a bit strange, ajeeb, when I went to bowl after such a long lay-off. I bowled some four to five overs, sometimes there was a feeling that I have forgotten my bowling run-up, but luckily things didn’t go too bad for me.

Did you have any doubts if you will get the same loop and accuracy?

Obviously, I had a few doubts because I was bowling after a gap of four months. In the past, even when you are injured, at least you can go to the ground. This has been a rare instance when we came to the ground after a gap of four months. I was wondering how will my body react to bowling.

It’s on my mind because sometimes I think that when you are coming back after such a long layoff, the key is not put too much load on the body. There is that worry about getting injured.

How much is the bio-bubble in the UAE on your mind? How will it impact players, you reckon?

We have experienced all these things under lockdown (laughs). It won’t be new to us because the last four months, we have been staying inside our homes. We all know now how to deal with it. It would have been a big worry if we hadn’t faced a lockdown. At least, we will be meeting our team mates and soon going out to practise. In lockdown, we all were there just with our family in one house.

ipl 2019, rcb vs KXIP, Yuzvendra Chahal Yuzvendra Chahal during nets. (Express photo: Kamleshwar Singh/File)

How much did the Tik Tok ban affect you?

It was a strange time as the more you thought about Covid, the more you would get depressed. We didn’t discuss Covid at home and did activities like Tik Tok to divert our minds. It was just for time-pass, for enjoyment. I was free at home and had nothing to do. So, the family also got involved. Nothing else was happening; at least the world got to see my family. We all knew that the Covid situation wasn’t going to go away soon; even if 30 per cent of population are affected, the numbers will go in crores. So, it was better to divert our minds to something else.

How did you spend time otherwise?

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I used to wake up in the night and shortened the days, din chhote kar diye they. Days were tough to pass. So, I used to work out in the mornings and sleep during the day. I turned day into night, night into day. It was a timetable like say, the West Indies time zone.

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