India’s wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal continued their domination in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa on Wednesday (February 7).
After scalping 5 for 79 and 8 for 42 while bowling in tandem during the first two ODIs at Durban and Centurion, the duo unleashed yet another havoc on the hosts as they claimed 8 for 69 in India’s 124-run victory over the Protease during the third ODI at Newlands, Cape Town.
“We knew they would pick up wickets (here) because these guys have bowled in flatter batting tracks at home. Some might think they have bowled in T20 cricket when the conditions are very difficult and they have picked up wickets on a regular basis there as well,” Kohli quoted by PTI as saying after the third ODI.
“It’s outstanding to see two guys just totally spinning a web around the opposition. There doesn’t seem to be a way out at all. It’s unbelievable. Taking eight wickets today – outstanding,” he added.
Kuldeep and Chahal have taken 21 wickets out of the 39 wickets that had fallen in the first three ODIs thus far. Owing to their stellar show, India have now taken an unprecedented 3-0 lead in the series.
“I don’t have words to explain this. Credit to them. Both are very brave in terms of how they bowl and the kind of fields they want as well. They are very brave tossing the ball and asking the batsman to come out and play a risky shot.
“Hats off to them but the other debate is a bit away from now. You never know what happens in the future but I am really happy at the moment,” the Indian captain said.
Elaborating the rationale behind Kuldeep and Chahal’s success, Kohli asserted the duo has been brave in going after wickets even at the risk of conceding a few runs.
“They feel at the top of their game when they have the pitches supporting them even a little bit. They are brave and even on flatter pitches, wrist spinners will also come into play.
“They might go for six an over, we knew that but they will pick up 3-4 wickets between them. They have done outstandingly well in the last two games picking up a majority of the wickets in both games and being the difference between both sides,” he explained.
When asked about the wrist spinners’ chances of featuring in red-ball cricket, the Indian captain admitted that the duo are putting a strong case for them.
“Those are things that are quite a bit away from now. Look they are obviously making a very strong case for themselves, bowling in these conditions and making breakthroughs like we haven’t seen before,” Kohli, who scored his 34th ODI ton in the third ODI in Cape Town, opined.
Virat, however, cleared the air saying that Kuldeep and Chahal will play be crucial for the next year’s World Cup in England.
“They might get hit for 70-odd in the next game. But there is no problem in that because you know that if they bowl attacking lines then they will end up picking 2-3 wickets every game. We are going to play the World Cup away from home, that I think is going to be the massive factor for us,” concluded Kohli.