Yuzvendra Chahal keen to learn the nuances of red-ball cricket

Chahal has already established himself as India's leading white-ball spinner.

Chahal recently toured England with India's limited-overs team | Getty

Having made his international debut back in June 2016, India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has come a long way. He has claimed 45 wickets at an average of 23.86 in 26 ODIs thus far, while his T20I wicket-tally read 42 in 26 games with two four-wicket hauls and one 5-fer.

Chahal had a memorable tour of South Africa earlier this year, taking 16 wickets in 6 ODIs as the Men in Blue clinched the one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1. He followed it up with eight wickets in the Nidahas T20 tri-series that India won by beating Bangladesh in a thrilling final.

The wrist spinner recently toured UK with the Indian cricket team. He picked up merely two wickets in three ODIs against England and a solitary wicket in 3 T20Is against the same opponent. However, Chahal bagged 6 wickets in 2 T20Is against Ireland.

After returning from England, Chahal joined the India ‘A’ side to sharpen his red-ball skills. The 28-year-old returned to the first-class fold after a two-year gap. Being a white-ball spinner for India in 52 games, he highlighted the difference in approach.

“There is no pressure on the batsmen here. In limited-overs, if there is a run-rate pressure, the batters try you out, but here, a bowler would need to use his skills to get the batsmen out, use the brains a bit more. You may have to bowl 30 to 35 overs also, as against four overs or 10 overs,” Chahal quoted as saying by Sportstar.

The tightly-packed international calendar didn’t allow Chahal to feature in domestic cricket after the Haryana-Jharkhand Ranji Trophy quarterfinal in 2016.  Last year, when he was undergoing training at the NCA after the limited-overs series against New Zealand, the BCCI asked him to skip the Ranji games as they didn’t want to risk injuries.

“If you are playing Test matches, your bowling will improve and your mind will be sharp. You need to adjust and think how you can get a batsman out, especially on a wicket like this, where there is no help for the spinners. There is no turn at all. You need more planning in such situations. You need to have an idea about the field set-up,” Chahal remarked.

However, the Haryana leggie is not in a hurry to break into the national Test squad. He believes in the thorough procedure.

“I have to play a little bit more of red-ball cricket; that’s why the selectors sent me here. Two years is a long gap and here, you need to keep yourself fit as there are 20-over spells, too. Bowling a good delivery and getting a wicket on a good delivery are two different things, you need the latter,” Chahal concluded.

By Salman Anjum - 13 Aug, 2018

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