Yuzvendra Chahal – Inexperienced India’s bowling ‘mentor’ in 2018 Nidahas Trophy
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Yuzvendra Chahal – Inexperienced India’s bowling ‘mentor’ in 2018 Nidahas Trophy

Yuzvendra Chahal is the most experienced bowler in the Indian squad for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy and he will be the key in guiding the fresh faces in the line-up in the bowling department.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2018 16:35 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Yuzvendra Chahal,2018 Nidahas Trophy,ohammed Siraj
Yuzvendra Chahal is the most experienced bowler in the India squad for the upcoming 2018 Nidahas Trophy.(AFP)

The India squad for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy consists of players who have not had much international exposure. A closer look at the squad reveals majority of the new faces are in the bowling department.

Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal make up the bowling line-up. Siraj and Thakur have played two matches while Sundar has played one. Unadkat has featured in six, Axar 11 while Chahal has the most with 16. Taking out Suresh Raina’s occasional off-spin, the 27-year-old legspinner is the most experienced bowler in the side.

Chahal’s new challenge

In the team which included Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav, Chahal’s dual role was to attack and take wickets during the middle overs. In the absence of Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Pandya and Kuldeep, Chahal will to mentor the young guns in addition to taking wickets consistently.

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Chahal has been the best bowler in Twenty20s in the past one year. Since February 2017, he has taken 22 wickets, including a haul of 6/25 against England at the M Chinnaswamy stadium at an average of 16.72 and economy rate of 8.86. However, there is a small concern.

High economy woes

In the list of bowlers who have taken more than 10 wickets since 2017, Chahal’s economy rate is the worst for spinners.

Whenever Chahal has conceded an economy rate of 9 or over, India has endured a mixed bag. In theTwenty20 game in Sri Lanka in September 2017, Chahal was smashed for 43 runs in his four overs but he took three wickets. In the high-scoring clash against the same opponents at the Holkar stadium in December 2017, Chahal gave away 52 runs in four overs but took four wickets.

Although India won both games, Sri Lanka attacked him and if they adopt this strategy in the tournament, India’s bowling could come under pressure.

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In two other instances when Chahal went for over nine runs an over, India lost the game. In Rajkot against New Zealand, Chahal conceded 36 in four overs as the Kiwis won the match by 40 runs. In Centurion, Chahal was hammered all over the park against South Africa. The figures of 4-0-64-0 were the worst figures for an Indian bowler in this format.

By becoming the potential leader of the attack for the Twenty20 tri-series, the tournament offers Chahal a new dynamic and a challenge in conditions which will suit him.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 16:29 IST