After the 2017 Champions Trophy, Indian captain Virat Kohli and the team management took a big decision to play the wrist-spin duo comprising of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the limited-overs format. Since then, both of them have delivered a number of sensational performances to help India register some memorable victories. The Kuldeep-Chahal combo is a major reason for India being counted as one of the top contenders to lift the 2019 World Cup title.
The recently concluded IPL 2019 wasn’t great for the franchises of India’s ace spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal- Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. While Kuldeep had a dismal run in the season with just 4 wickets in nine games, Chahal finished as the best bowler for his franchises with 18 wickets in 14 outings.
Last year when India travelled to England, Kuldeep was one of the most impressive performers. He picked up daunting figures of 14 wickets in 6 matches (3 T20Is and 3 ODIs) to truly mark his arrival at the highest stage of the game. No surprises then that India would depend on him a lot to choke the opponents in the World Cup. But while only time will tell whether Kuldeep manages to set fireworks in England or not.
For Yuzvendra Chahal, the most important aspect in his partnership with Kuldeep Yadav is the trust they share and the mutual understanding. Both of them have also shared the same dressing room in the IPL as well, during the Mumbai Indians (MI) camp.
“It feels nice to know that our partnership works. We know each other for seven-eight years. We were together at the Mumbai Indians. We trust each other. If I have a bad over, I know he will try to cover it up from the other end by being a bit defensive so that I can make a good comeback in my next over,” Yuzvendra Chahal was quoted as saying by TOI.
There was no pressure on us
Chahal stated that there was absolutely no pressure on him and Kuldeep in the absence of the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. “There was no pressure on us. We got an opportunity and we grabbed it. There was a talk that Ashwin and Jadeja were left out at our expense. There's nothing like that. We were just doing our job,” Chahal inferred.
While speaking on the comparisons, the right-arm leg-spinner mentioned, “We are not close to them in terms of the number of wickets they have taken together. Comparing us to them is as unfair as comparing Virat to Sachin Tendulkar. Kuldeep and I enjoy every moment like you do when you sit for a final exam.”
Chahal also stated that wicket-keeper MS Dhoni plays a key role in the wrist-spin duo’s success. “Whatever happens, you need Mahi bhai. We still obey what he says. He intervenes when we go wrong. It was the same when we first arrived. Even today, if we plan something of our own, we feel the need to talk to him about it,” he concluded.