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I relish bowling on flat tracks and excited about bowling in Sri Lanka: Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal, who was not part of the Indian cricket team for the ICC Champions Trophy and the West Indies tour, has been recalled for the ODI series vs Sri Lanka cricket team

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 15, 2017 09:50 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
india vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India,SL vs IND
Yuvzendra Chahal feels Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli knows the leg-spinner’s capabilities and has always helped him improve as a player, while playing for with the Men in Blue or with Royal Challengelers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The upcoming ODI series vs Sri Lanka cricket team could be a turning point in Chahal’s career.(Getty Images)

After the disappointment of not being named in the Indian cricket team for the West Indies tour and ICC Champions Trophy, Yuzvendra Chahal knew it was now or never. The leg-spinner gave it all, training hard at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, ahead of India ‘A’ tour to South Africa for a series of one-dayers.

The 27-year-old Haryana bowler’s hard work paid off in the tri-series against South Africa ‘A’ and Afghanistan ‘A’. Chahal scalped six wickets in the four matches played in Pretoria, and, the reward was fast -- the selectors have put faith in him and have given him a ticket for the ODI series against Sri Lanka cricket team.

India is set to play five ODIs and a T20 in Sri Lanka, and, with seasoned spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja rested for the series, Chahal is confident of filling their shoes. He wants to make use of the opportunity to cement his place in the Indian team.

“The focus was on making a comeback in the Indian team,” Chahal told Hindustan Times. “IPL-10 did not go well for my team (Royal Challengers Bangalore), but I was confident about my bowling. I have always believed that hard work pays off. I put in a lot to earn a place in the India ‘A’ team for the South Africa tour. And the performance there helped me get back to the team. I want to make the most of this chance.”

Chahal’s high point in his nascent international career came when he took six wickets in the T20 match against England in Bengaluru earlier in the year, becoming the first Indian bowler to scalp six in a Twenty20 game. Thereafter, he went on to play for RCB in IPL-10, taking 14 wickets in 13 matches.

“I have played under Virat Kohli Paaji for four IPL seasons,” said Chahal. “He is a great leader. He encouraged me so much when I took six wickets against England . I am excited to bowl on Sri Lankan wickets under him. He knows my strengths.

“There is a lot competition when it comes to spin bowling,” added the leggie, who has picked up many tricks of the trade from former India bowler Narendra Hirwani at the NCA. “One cannot be complacent and has to aim to be consistent to make a long-lasting impression. I relish bowling on flat wickets. It is challenging and daunting. It brings out the best in me.

Chahal also recalled how Rahul Dravid, the India ‘A’ coach inspired him in South Africa.

“Although, Rahul Dravid was a batsman, he has enormous experience of playing all over the world,” he said. “He was happy with my performances in South Africa. I had to make adjustments to my pace as the wickets were on the slower side. And it raised my confidence.”

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 09:50 IST