Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal admitted to have played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) unaware that he is carrying fractured fingers.
The 29-year-old highlighted the need for bowlers to look after their fingers and wrists, two key parts of their body, while revealing about the injury he came to know of only afterwards during the web show ‘Double Trouble’, where Indian women cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues have candid chat with different sportspersons.
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Chahal appeared on the show alongside Indian women's team leg-spinner Poonam Yadav and 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, who has now played 52 ODIs and 42 T20Is for India.
On being asked why they choose to specialise in the difficult art of wrist-spin, Chahal and Poonam both gave interestingly replies.
"Everyone goes for the easy things," said Poonam, before Chahal added, "everyone takes the stairs but we are the ones to climb Mount Everest."
Another similarity between the two is their short height, which Chahal explained how he makes good use of. "Someone who is 6ft tall will not have that flight during spinning that we can take advantage of," he said. "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."
Chahal, once a junior national chess champion, also recalled how the transition to cricket actually happened.
"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," he added.
(Inputs from Indian Express)