Kuldeep Yadav vs Yuzvendra Chahal: A Statistical Comparison
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are two of the biggest reasons behind India's recent success in limited-overs cricket. Operating in tandem during the middle-overs, the two wrist-spinners have become an integral part of the Indian team.
Both possess plenty of variations and are hence very difficult to read for the opposition batsmen. Although both of them are good in their own way, a question arises as to who is better - Kuldeep or Chahal? In this article, let us compare the two spinners on the basis of statistics.
Being a left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav is an extremely rare breed of a bowler. There have been very few chinaman bowlers in the history of cricket and he is one of the very best. Playing a leg-spinner is already difficult and to play a left-arm leg-spinner is even more of a challenge.
Kuldeep came into the limelight for the first time when he took a hat-trick in the 2014 U-19 World Cup. He was also India's leading wicket taker in that tournament. He made his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.
In 2012, he was bought by Mumbai Indians but didn't get to play a single match. After a good domestic season, he made his Test debut against Australia in 2017 at Dharamsala and impressed everyone by taking four wickets in the match.
In 2017, Kuldeep made his ODI and T20I debuts as well. He has already taken a hat-trick in ODIs. The left-arm spinner has been performing consistently since his debut. He has been a great find for India and can go on to have a productive career at the highest level.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a right-arm leg-spinner who relies on flighting the ball. He made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians but didn't get enough chances to play and was bought by RCB in 2014 wherein he became an integral part of the team.
Because of his performances in the shortest format of the game, Chahal got selected in the Indian T20I and ODI squads for the tour of Zimbabwe in 2016. He delivered impressive spells in both formats. Later, he became the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in T20Is during the home series against England in 2017.
Looking at their numbers, Kuldeep has the upper hand in all three formats. Thus far, he has played 33 ODIs and taken 67 wickets at an impressive average of 20.07. Meanwhile, Chahal has picked 56 wickets in 34 ODIs at an average of 25.55. Considering these stats, it becomes clear that Kuldeep has performed better than Chahal in ODIs so far.
As far as T20Is are concerned, Kuldeep has 29 scalps to his name in 14 matches at an unbelievable average of 12.48. On the other hand, Chahal has picked 42 wickets in 26 matches at a solid average of 18.98. The right-armer has played more T20Is than his younger spin partner. However, from their respective averages, it can be argued that Kuldeep has had a better start in T20Is as well.
Chahal is yet to make his Test debut. If we compare their first-class stats, both himself and Kuldeep have played 29 matches each. While the left-armer has taken 112 wickets, the leg-spinner has picked just 74 wickets. Thus far, Kuldeep has clearly bowled better with the red ball than Chahal in the first-class circuit.
After analysing their respective statistics, it's quite clear that Kuldeep has bowled better than Chahal in all three formats. That being said, both spinners are effective in their own way and the Indian team is fortunate to have two high-quality wrist-spinners at their disposal.