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HomeCricBlogHas the rope extinguished for Yuzvendra Chahal in international cricket?

Has the rope extinguished for Yuzvendra Chahal in international cricket?



Last Updated on 3 years by Charbel Coorey

Has the rope extinguished for Yuzvendra Chahal in international cricket? | Looking at how Yuzi Chahal can play for India again in the future

India’s highest wicket-taker in T20Is, who has been left out of the Indian squad which has four other spinners, proves a point in UAE leg of IPL 2021

Yuzvendra Chahal was India’s top spinner in white ball cricket from late 2017 till 2020. His numbers had started to drop since 2019 and his long rope finally ended as India announced their squad for the T20 World Cup.

Was he hard done by? Even keeping his numbers aside, the facts suggest not.

Chahal made a career from bowling his leg-break, top-spinner and googly at the same spot around off stump, bringing all modes of dismissal into play. No mystery. Just conventional variations on good line and length with changes of pace.

He got dip and drift at times, and on turning tracks a ball from Chahal pitching on leg and hitting top of off-stump was no longer a rare sight in Indian cricket. However, despite such a successful formula, performances started to dip.

Chahal on most occasions was more or less targeting the stumps and could bowl as quick at 95 kmph. This made him quite a hard bowler to sweep, particularly if you don’t read him from the hand. With the sweep not a preferred option, batters tried driving or hacking him across the line, and ended up giving catches to slip and the outfield. Unable to score, batters then tried to use their feet to hit him straight, and he would bowl wider and get them stumped.

What was the reason for Yuzvendra Chahal’s decline?

However, it was his last trick that didn’t last long and started to anticipate the wider ball. Additionally he was also attacked inside out and taken for runs. As a result, he started bowling wider to stay outside the arc of the batters and to which he was met with sweeps and reverse sweeps.

One possible reason for his decline is to do with the fact that he last played a FC game in December 2018. Lack of FC cricket is the possible reason for his lack of consistent lines even in shorter forms of the game. The drift and dip in his bowling are not of the same levels as before either. A packed international schedule during the 2019/20 domestic season and cancellation of red ball domestic tournament in 2020/21 due to COVID-19 hasn’t helped his cause either.

The team management and selectors had started to show signs of moving ahead of him when he was not picked for the first T20I in the series in Australia after have gone for plenty in the ODIs. However, he came in as a concussion substitute for Jadeja and gave a match-winning performance. However, in the subsequent matches he failed miserably and was finally dropped to accommodate Rahul Chahar in the home series versus England.

He got another lucky break as India send a second string to Sri Lanka for a white ball tour. He put in some decent performances in ODIs but got isolated for the last two T20Is after being in close contact with Krunal Pandya who tested positive for COVID-19. Thus, he could not make a strong case for his selection for the biggest T20 tournament in the world.

Yuzvendra Chahal has a brilliant 2nd leg of IPL 2021

However, all is not lost for Yuzvendra Chahal. Despite not having a great first leg in IPL 2021, his first wicket he picked versus KKR in Abu Dhabi gave him a reflection of his old success mantra. A top-spinner on off-stump which Shubhman Gill miscued in the air was similar to hundreds of dismissals Chahal has got in T20s.

Then Chahal never looked back. Attacking the stumps and varying his pace, he managed 15 wickets in just eight matches with an average of just over 12. Even the pitch-leg-hit-off dismissal was back on show, as Chahal was one of the lynchpins of RCB’s consistency in this season.

Yet the recall was not to be. His counterpart in Rahul Chahar did struggle in the IPL but the ship had already sailed. However, after a successful IPL and another opportunity in the domestic T20 cup, another cap for India would already be in Chahal’s sight.

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