India’s wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal continued their domination in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa on Tuesday (February 13).
After scalping 5 for 79 and 8 for 42 while bowling in tandem in India’s 6-wicket and 9-wicket victory in 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.
After a little blip in the fourth ODI that the Men in Blue lost by 5 wickets (DLS method), Kuldeep and Chahal made a stellar comeback in the fifth India at Port Elizabeth to secure a maiden bilateral ODI series win on South African soil. The duo claimed 6 wickets between them as India won the fifth ODI by 73 runs.
Seeing Kuldeep and Chahal’s bowling exhibition from the close quarters, former India opener Sunil Gavaskar on Tuesday (February 13) said that the new-found spin twins remind him of “artist” Shane Warne.
"I have seen some wonderful spinners. Abdul Qadir, for example. He was fantastic as a leg spinner. Shane Warne was another. I didn't play against him, but he was an artist. He set batsmen up. I think this is exactly what these two spinners [Kuldeep and Chahal] are trying to do, trying to set batsmen up," Gavaskar said during a post-match analysis show on Sony Ten 1.
"Comparisons obviously are odious as guys are from different eras, different generation. But these two guys are two of the most exciting young spinners," he added.
Gavaskar is also impressed with the fearlessness of Kuldeep and Chahal.
"What you see is the fearlessness of youth. They are not afraid to toss the ball up, unafraid to experiment.
"They might get hit like they did at the Wanderers the other day. Even today [Tuesday], the odd over was expensive. But they are always, every single ball, trying to get a wicket. That's very exciting," concluded Gavaskar.
Kuldeep and Chahal have taken 30 wickets out of the 54 wickets that had fallen in the five ODIs thus far. Owing to their stellar show, India have now taken an unprecedented 4-1 lead in the ODI series. The sixth and final ODI will be played at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Friday (February 16).