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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals, Indian Premier League: Yuzvendra Chahal needs a look-in

The Rajasthan Royals wrist spinner had come into the contest having taken a wicket every 12 balls in IPL 2024, his best strike rate in any edition of this tournament

Indranil Majumdar Calcutta Published 17.04.24, 08:53 AM
Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal The Telegraph

Did Yuzvendra Chahal spoil his World Cup chances following the savage assault by Sunil Narine at Eden Gardens on Tuesday? That is bound to cross his mind after going for 54 runs in his four overs against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Rajasthan Royals wrist spinner had come into the contest having taken a wicket every 12 balls in IPL 2024, his best strike rate in any edition of this tournament. That however was thrown out of the window as he was smashed for 22 in his first two and then Narine cracked two boundaries and two sixes in his final over.

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It didn’t make for a pretty sight but Chahal remains the Purple Cap holder with 12 wickets in seven matches. He remains the only spinner in the top-10 wicket-takers list.

His only wicket at the Eden was that of Knights’ captain Shreyas Iyer who was struck on the back leg in front of the middle and leg stumps while going for a slog sweep. This match has exposed that he needs to dwell on better lengths when the conditions aren’t in his favour.

He has been fairly consistent and is firmly in the race to be the third spinner in the World Cup XV with Axar Patel and Ravi Bishnoi. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are confirmed on the list.

Chahal has the uncanny ability to turn the ball both ways. His varied range of of deliveries, including the googly, the flipper, and the slider could always come in handy on the slow surfaces in the US and the West Indies. If he can maintain his accuracy and mix it up with his slower balls, the concoction could prove
to be fatal.

A big spinner of the ball unlike Bishnoi or Rashid Khan, he gets a lot of drift or swirl towards the right-hander or away from the left-hander which could come in handy. Moreover, the control in his trajectory often leaves the batters confused.

“Chahal is a leg-spinner who can get the ball to turn away. If you talk about genuine spinner, I don’t think there’s any spinner in India better than Chahal in limited over formats,” Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel after Chahal was ignored for the Asia Cup and ODI World Cup last year.

A proven match winner, he has regularly been snubbed in the big-ticket events, including the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE. The following year he made it to Australia for the T20 World Cup but the team management preferred to go with the two finger spinners — Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel — in the playing XI.

Chahal, 33, has shown that he can provide the breakthroughs and needs a break to prove himself.

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