India wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal speaks about T20I Performance of the Year

Indian leg-break spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who made his debut for Team India in 2016, has established himself as the team’s first-choice wrist-spinner for limited-overs format, in just a short duration of two years. Chahal had entered the spotlight after his Man of the Match-winning performance in a decider T20I against England in 2017, in which he dismantled more than half of England’s batting order, helping India clinch the series.

Yuzvendra Chahal outclassed England in T20I series

The three-match T20I series between India and England had begun in January of 2017, as a part of England’s tour of India of 2016/17. The 1st T20 was won by England by 7 wickets, and the second one was won by India by 5 runs, as a chasing England fell just a little short of runs by the end of the 20th over.

With the series tied 1-1, and the decider and 3rd T20I on 1st February in M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, India set up a huge score of 202 runs, credit to the excellent knocks by MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. England were all set to match the heat with their bat when they came on to the crease to chase again.

However, Yuzvendra Chahal had different plans in his mind. The wrist-spinner bowled 4 overs, gave 25 runs with an economy of 6.25, and took 6 wickets, which comprised the 60% of England’s batting order – Sam Billings (0), Joe Root (42), Eoin Morgan (40), Ben Stokes (6), Moeen Ali (2), and Chris Jordan (0).

Owing to his match-winning performance, Yuzvendra Chahal not only won the Player of the Match and Player of the Series awards, his seemingly historic performance was named the T20I Bowling Performance of the Year.

Yuzvendra Chahal expresses gratitude

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Yuzvendra Chahal expressed gratitude on receiving the T20I Performance of the Year Award, and said,

“Thank you Cricinfo for giving me this award, it’s a really big thing for me to get this award because there are so many big players out there, but you choose me. Thank you so much. It’s a really big achievement for me, cause if you see in world cricket, there are so many legend players, but I’m the one receiving this award. So, I’m really happy for that.”

On playing at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

“I love to play in M Chinnaswamy Stadium, as I have been playing there for 4 years now. And it really helped me because in 4 years I have played so many matches there, I know the ground and where to bowl.”

“When I played against England, I really enjoyed as I was confident. For other the ground is small, or has high altitude and all that, but after playing so many games there I was really confident about that (picking up 6 wickets).”

What does Chahal have that other spinner don’t?

Yuzvendra Chahal was asked about the individual factors that made the Indian wrist-spinner stand out from the rest of the world-class spinners. Replying to it, the 27-year-old former junior chess-champion said,

“See, we have a couple of more variations – 4 or 5 deliveries – than the other bowlers and finger-spinners. And if you use your whole wrist (compared to finger-spinners), you get more turn on any kind of wicket. We also have 3-4 varieties, which helps us during the bowling.”