India wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been on a roll for the last one year, is now regarded as one of the best Indian bowlers in limited-overs cricket. Owing to his spinning prowess, Chahal bagged an ICC honour for his historic six-wicket haul against England in a T20I in February 2017. Chahal’s impressive display against Eoin Morgan-led England was named ICC T20I Performance of the Year 2017.
Yuzvendra Chahal awarded ‘Performance of the Year’
The 27-year-old wrist-spinner bowled a match-winning spell when he picked six wickets giving just 25 runs. His blessed performance helped Virat Kohli-led Team India to beat England by a 75-run margin in the last match, and bag home a 2-1 series win in the three-match T20I series.
Chahal’s excellent bowling performance is currently being rated the third best in world T20 cricket. ICC posted the announcement on their official Twitter page.
In the T20I clash, India had scored 202/6 batting first, with a half-century each from Suresh Raina and former India captain MS Dhoni. Chasing a decent target score of 203 at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, England openers Jason Roy and Sam Billings failed quite early in the innings, with Yuzvendra Chahal dismissing Sam Billings in the second over.
While Joe Root (40 runs) and Eoin Morgan (46 runs) helped England to stay in the fight with a 64-run partnership, and the scoreboard reading 119/2, affairs for England headed south once Chahal was brought back to torment the England batsmen.
The leggie picked up two quick wickets in the 13th over, when he dismissed Eoin Morgan and Joe Root off his two consecutive deliveries. Bowling again in the 16th over, Chahal dismissed Ben Stokes (6 runs), Chris Jordan, (0 runs) and Moeen Ali (2 runs) to dismantle the England batting order. What is noteworthy about England’s performance is that they lost their last eight wickets scoring only eight runs.
Yuzvendra Chahal was deservedly awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his super-impressive match-winning spell. And now the Thursday’s announcement which saw Chahal bag the ICC award for ‘Performance of the Year’, has come as an icing on the cake.
As reported by ICC, India captain Virat Kohli had said after the T20I series against England was wrapped,
“I have a lot of faith in him (Chahal), and he plays with a lot of confidence. He has a lot of skill and he has the character as well.”
Chahal had to face-off competition to bag the ICC honour
There were other bowling performances in 2017 which came close to beating Chahal for the ICC honour. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan had give 3 runs for 5 wickets against Ireland, while Imran Tahir had claimed 5 wickets giving 24 runs against New Zealand. These two highlights from 2017 were also in the mix, but Yuzvendra Chahal’s spin wizardry aced them to the revered ICC honour.
Chahal is now a worthy successor to West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite, who had received the honour in 2016 for his breathtaking display against England in the ICC World T20 final.