Speedster Shoaib Akhtar was all praise for India's leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who he believes has some tricks which can confuse batsmen. Akhtar further went on to describe Chahal as a street smart cricketer and a complete leg-spinner and opined that the leggie should never be benched.
It has been a topsy-turvy few months for Yuzvendra Chahal who, despite cementing his place in India's T20 side as the first-choice spinner, has struggled to become a mainstay in the ODI side. However, the leggie was given a chance in the last two ODIs against the Kiwis after Kuldeep Yadav's disastrous showing which he made the most use of, claiming 6 wickets in those 2 games, picking wickets at regular intervals.
His lion-hearted performance drew praise from many, including legendary Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who showered praise on Chahal, stating that the leggie has some tricks which can leave even the best in the business bemused. Chahal, who was the lone bright spot in India’s bowling unit in the three-match ODI series which New Zealand won 3-0, picked up 6 wickets in 2 ODIs and Akhtar believes that the 29-year-old is a 'street-smart cricketer' who should never be benched.
“(Ravindra) Jadeja contains, he gets wickets occasionally, Kuldeep (Yadav) didn’t perform well but (Yuzvendra) Chahal was good. He should never be benched. Chahal has some tricks which can confuse the batsmen. He is a complete leg-spinner. He dominates the batsmen, he is street smart,” said Shoaib Akhtar in his Youtube channel, reported Hindustan Times.
Chahal was surprisingly benched in the first ODI as India decided to go in with Kuldeep Yadav but played all 5 T20Is against New Zealand which India won. This decision backfired as Kuldeep went for 84 runs in his 10 overs in the first ODI as India failed to defend 347. Chahal was brought back for the last two matches and he picked up 3 wickets each in both games – 3/58 in 2nd ODI and 3/47 in the 3rd ODI - and was by far India’s best bowler.
The Rawalpindi Express further questioned Kuldeep Yadav’s form in the series and opined that the chinaman looked a bit subdued, and added that the 25-year-old was never really threatening at any point in the game.
“Kuldeep to me looks be a bit subdued, he is not playing freely. He was never really in the game, that’s a worrying factor for India. Apart from Chahal, nobody looked like picking wickets in the middle over,” Akhtar added.
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