ICC World Cup 2019: Like last year, slow pitches will be great, says Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal is ready for the intense competition with Kuldeep and Jadeja for a playing spot the World Cup is likely to throw up.Updated: Apr 27, 2019 19:56 IST
He entered the India ranks through his exploits in the Indian Premier League, and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has come a long way to become one of the key spinners going into the World Cup.
The 28-year old, with chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, have vindicated the Indian team management’s revised opinion that wrist spin will deliver at the World Cup after finger spinners (R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja) could not in the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, where India lost to Pakistan in the final. His 72 wickets in 41 ODIs at an economy of 4.89 underline match-winning qualities, but Chahal is ready for the intense competition with Kuldeep and Jadeja for a playing spot the World Cup is likely to throw up.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler spoke on the World Cup and his preparations.
How do you assess India’s bowling strength?
All our pacers can bowl 145 kph plus. The spinners too have the ability to take wickets in any situation. These are big positives. We’ve been playing together for a long time and know each other’s strengths. It helps ours and the team’s cause.
How do you see competition for a spot in the playing XI?
When you know that if you are not performing well there are three or four others who can replace you, it automatically boosts me to work harder. And when I realise I am the best (spinner) among those fighting for a place in the eleven, it will push me to work harder than them.
As a leg-spinner, you can go for runs too?
My biggest strength is I never look at the batsman’s name when bowling. I play to my strategy and what the captain wants. That is the mentality I have developed over the years, and it has taken me this far.
When a top batsman is coming after me, I have more chance of getting his wicket as he is just looking for fours and sixes. If I am vulnerable, he is vulnerable too. I can use my variations well and take my chances against him. That’s how I look at batsmen attacking me.
Everyone goes through a lean patch at some point…
It depends on how you are bowling. If you are bowling well and not getting wickets, it’s not a big issue. Sometimes I am economical, but not getting enough wickets. But if I am not bowling well and not getting wickets, then it’s a disturbing thing. It’s all about going back to basics and understanding the variations that had helped me deceive the batsmen. One has to keep working hard.
What variations are you working on ahead of the World Cup?
I am working on my top spin more, and on my sliders. (Top-spin delivery is released off the middle finger. It has higher loop and dip is sharper than the stock delivery. The slider is bowled with more side spin and backspin, making it tougher to pick from the stock leg-break.)
You toured England in 2018. How were the pitches?
Wickets at that time were slow compared to India. I think during the World Cup, it’s going to be the same. It is good as it gives us (spinners) a great chance to make an impact. The World Cup will be dream come true for me. This will be my first World Cup, and I am waiting for it.
After three years of playing international cricket. I have gained confidence. It is the biggest strength for any player. When you perform against top players, it always boosts your morale, particularly when you know the management has faith in your ability.
Is your strategy for ODIs vastly different from T20s?
The margin of error is less in T20s. Here you have only four overs and in ODIs you 10 to show your skills. In ODIs, even if you are hit in one or two overs, you have a chance to make a comeback. In T20s you may be hit more. You have to be prepared for it.
RCB started poorly, but have recovered a bit…
After a string of Iosses (the first 6 games), we were missing the momentum in the first half. In the last four-five games, we have been playing really well. We have won three straight games. Our momentum is back. We are more confident. It’s good I’m playing in IPL ahead of the World Cup. It is a learning experience, and is helping me use my variations ahead of the big test in England.
First Published: Apr 27, 2019 09:01 IST