India’s Yuzvendra Chahal, who was dropped mid-way through the England T20Is, rubbished suggestions that his form has dipped and insisted that he will start bagging wickets in plenty very soon. Chahal also predicted that the Kul-Cha reunion will happen in Sri Lanka after a two-year hiatus.
Once considered the best leg-spinner in the world, Yuzvendra Chahal’s form in international cricket over the past 18 months has been alarming. Chahal was infamously dismantled in the World Cup encounter against England in 2019 and his form, since then, has been hideous: in ODIs, the leg-spinner has averaged a shocking 49.80 and has taken a mere 10 wickets in 9 matches, while in T20Is, he’s taken just 16 wickets in 17 matches at an ER 9.13. Two months ago, the 30-year-old was axed mid-way through the England T20Is and was overlooked for the ODIs, with the management opting to field Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya.
But despite his numbers taking a clear beating, Chahal believes that his form has not dipped. Speaking to TOI, the leg-spinner claimed that there are phases in a bowler’s career in which they go wicketless despite bowling well and insisted that he is going through one such patch. He further attested that it is only a matter of time before he starts picking wickets in a cluster.
"I don't think so (on being out of form). I have been playing for so long now. I have been bowling in the IPL too. You can't take wickets in all the matches. There are times when the bowler goes wicketless in a couple of matches. That doesn't mean his form has dipped. In T20Is, one needs to bowl with full control. We need to control the flow of runs. So, it is tough to bowl in T20Is,” Chahal told TOI.
"People have got used to seeing me taking wickets. I have worked really hard to reach this level. I have impressed my fans by taking wickets. Obviously, when I am not taking wickets, there will be comparisons and fans will be disappointed. But my form hasn't dipped. It's just a matter of a couple of matches.
“This is just a phase for me. It happens with a batsman too when he is not able to score runs in 3 or 4 or 5 matches but after that, he starts scoring runs. You will see me back in wicket-taking mode again and that too very soon.”
Be it for India or RCB, Chahal has thrived under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, and the leg-spinner had nothing but words of praise for the Indian skipper. Kohli is known as a bowler’s captain and Chahal revealed that the Indian skipper motivates him endlessly.
"I have got a lot of support from him (Virat). In fact, during the IPL, he came and said - 'Yuzi, jaise tu ball daalta hai hamesha, waise hi daal, koi changes mat laa (bowl the way you usually bowl, don't change anything). His words motivate me a lot. Not just on the field, he supports me off the field too. He (Virat) said - 'Yuzi, no need to think too much, it's just a phase, don't take pressure and just back yourself'.”
Three years ago, world cricket was witness to the Kul-Cha revolution, but the two wrist-spinners (Kuldeep and Chahal) have not played together since the game against England in the 2019 World Cup. Chahal has partnered with a handful of spinners since then, but the 30-year-old asserted with confidence that he would be reunited in the playing XI with Kuldeep in the Sri Lanka tour.
"I am sure we (Kuldeep and I) will be in the eleven once again in Sri Lanka. I have been missing bowling alongside him (Kuldeep). We have bowled a lot of spells together. We enjoy each other's company. As you all call us 'KUL-CHA' (laughs), we want to continue to shine and win as many matches as we can for India.
“We have good coordination on the field and off the field as well. We understand each other. We have planned and taken so many wickets together. I am sure I will get the chance to bowl with him in Sri Lanka. I am looking forward to playing with him after a long time," Chahal said.