‘Attack, attack, attack’ – Virat Kohli’s message to Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian cricket team legspinner, has proved a roaring success in limited-overs cricket and attributes it to skipper Virat Kohli’s licence — attack and take wickets, in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times.

ONE of the factors behind every successful leg-spinner is the faith shown in him by the captain. And India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal attributes his success to Virat Kohli’s unwavering confidence in him, and says that is what motivates him to bowl fearlessly.

The attacking leggie, who picked six wickets against Australia and four versus the Kiwis in the ODI series at home, said Kohli allowed him to go after wickets.

“Virat bhai has always told me that even if I concede runs, if I get him a couple of wickets in the middle overs, he won’t mind. In T20s, he told me if I go for 35 runs in 4 overs but pick two or three wickets, he will be happy.

“However, in the last T20 at Trivandrum, in my second over, the plan was (to restrict) not to go for wickets because if I attacked, I would have had to flight the ball and either I would have got a wicket or got hit for a six,” Yuzvendra Chahal, 27, told Hindustan Times over phone from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Chahal’s Gambit
Kohli’s constant push for wickets also saw Chahal play a defining role in the ODI series decider against the Kiwis at Kanpur. Despite Colin Munro and Ross Taylor putting Indian bowlers under pressure, Chahal helped India win the series with a brilliant spell of 2/47.

A junior chess international who switched to cricket, Chahal’s ability of stay steps ahead of the batsmen has helped his cause. And his battle against Kiwi opener Colin Munro was a classic example.

“Against Munro at Kanpur, I bowled a slower ball, he got beaten and there was an appeal for stumping. I got a clue he liked to stand and deliver, and doesn’t believe in leaning into his shot.

“I thought I could bowl a little up and if I am getting turn that will be my plus point. I wanted him to go over cover as it was inside the circle. The flight was good, it dipped and he played without leaning into the shot. The risk involved was very high.” Munro was bowled. Known to pick wickets by bowling outside off-stump, the Haryana spinner’s recent spells show he has made middle-stump deliveries lethal as well. Glenn Maxwell and Kane Williamson fell to his wide variations; Munro and Guptill were beaten by flighted, middle-stump deliveries.

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