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'With these FC numbers, is he good enough to play Test cricket?' - L Sivaramakrishnan on Yuzvendra Chahal [Exclusive]

White-ball regular Yuzvendra Chahal is yet to feature in Test match cricket for India.
White-ball regular Yuzvendra Chahal is yet to feature in Test match cricket for India.
Sai Krishna
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 17:17 IST

Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan opined that Yuzvendra Chahal doesn't deserve a call-up to the national Test team due to his rather unimpressive first-class record.

Chahal has been a regular in the limited-overs setups for a few years now, but hasn't played red-ball cricket for the country. In 48 innings in first-class cricket, the Haryana-born bowler has scalped only 84 wickets at a strike rate of 65 and an average of 33.21.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Sivaramakrishnan highlighted that these numbers aren't good enough to warrant an inclusion in the Test format, where batsmen can afford to bide their time in the middle.

"What do Chahal's first-class numbers read? 84 wickets in 48 innings. That's 1.75 wickets per innings. With these numbers, is he good enough to play Test match cricket?"
"Test cricket is a different ball game altogether, the batsmen will wait for the loose ball. But in T20 cricket they try to hit everything. These numbers don't suggest that Chahal should be close to a Test cap."

'In this edition of the IPL, he bowled much better' - Sivaramakrishnan on Yuzvendra Chahal

RCB's all-time highest wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal led the team's attack once again in IPL 2020.

Sivaramakrishnan continued by saying that Yuzvendra Chahal was effective in this year's Indian Premier League because he bowled a teasing line outside off-stump. He illustrated that batsmen would find it difficult to pick the googly if it is bowled in the same line as the conventional leg-break.

"In this edition of the IPL, he bowled much better because he bowled a different line outside the off-stump. That is why his googlies were effective. He usually bowls a leg-stump line with the stock delivery, and the googly won't bring dismissals off the same line."
"This IPL, he started bowling outside off-stump and you can bowl googlies on the same line. Only then are the questions in the air for the batsmen."

Yuzvendra Chahal finished IPL 2020 with 21 wickets in 15 games at an economy rate of 7.08. Apart from being the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, the 30-year-old deceived excellent players of spin like Vijay Shankar and Mayank Agarwal with well-disguised wrong-uns.

However, Chahal doesn't seem to be on the verge of a Test call-up at the moment, despite multiple experts and fans clamouring for his selection. He had a poor tour of Australia, in which he registered only one noteworthy performance when he came on as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja in the 1st T20I.

Yuzvendra Chahal has often found it difficult to provide breakthroughs when batsmen opt to play him out. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja placed in the top 20 of the ICC Test Bowling Rankings, and Kuldeep Yadav waiting in the wings, we may never see the leggie don the whites for India.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 17:17 IST
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