Yuzvendra Chahal – a prominent member of disappearing’ spinners : With a scalp of 21 wickets at an average of 21.30 and an economy of 7.42 from 13 games in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2016, Yuzvendra Chahal ranks second in the list of ‘leading wicket takers’ in the tournament. He missed out on the Purple Cap, which eventually donned the head of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who ended with 23 wickets from 17 games.
26-year old Yuzvendra Chahal represents Haryana in the domestic circuit. This right-arm leggie made his first-class debut in 2009 against Madhya Pradesh and went wicket-less, having bowled 16 overs in the match.
He first drew attention in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy in 2009, in which he ended as the leading wicket taker in the tournament.
Fortune smiled on the youngster when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ‘purchased’ him for Rs 10 lacs in IPL 2014 auction. Playing 14 matches in the season he picked up 12 wickets at an average of 32.16 with 2/12 being the best bowling figures.
IPL 2015 has been ‘happy hunting’ for him. In the 15 games he played, Chahal picked up 23 wickets at an average of 18.04 with 3/40 being the best bowling figures.
His best performance in IPL 2016 has been a haul of 4/25 that came in the game between RCB and Kings’ XI Punjab, played in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Chahal went on to pick up the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha (24), Gurkeerat Singh Mann (18), Farhan Behardien (0) and Kyle Abbot (0), giving away 25 runs in his 3-over spell. His performance helped RCB restrict KXIP to a small total of 120 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 14 overs and win the game by 82 runs under D/L method.
Chahal is one spinner who believes in ‘purchasing’ the wickets. He does not mind being hit out of the park, as long as, he is able to deceive the batsmen by ‘pulling back the length’, a shade shorter, compelling the already committed batsmen to make the mistake of either scooping a catch or being beaten by the spin and get bowled.
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, Virat Kohli, more often than not, tossed the ball to the young Chahal when the going got a bit tough and he was looking for a breakthrough and the young spinner always obliged.
In the FC circuit, Chahal has featured in 20 matches (20 innings) and has picked up 37 wickets (4/22 being best bowling in an innings and 5/241 being the best bowling in a match). He is yet to register a ‘5-wicket haul’.
However, the youngster’s performance in Ranji Trophy 2015-16 has been far from satisfactory. Playing in four matches (five innings), Chahal has been able to pick up only 7 wickets, giving away a massive 402 runs.
His worst bowling effort has been in the game against Vidarbha, in which he gave away as many as 137 runs in his spell of 45 overs and claimed a solitary wicket.
Chahal has been selected to tour Zimbabwe for a series comprising of three ODIs and three T20Is.
Hopefully his IPL experience would hold him in good stead and he would be able to give a memorable performance. Team India is in a transition stage and if the youngster can make every opportunity count, then he could see himself to be an integral part of the national team.
Incidentally Chahal has represented India in the Under-19 Chess team and his name appears in FIDE’s official site, before taking over the ‘red cherry’ and the ‘kookaburra’.