South Africa vs India, 2018: Centurion a bad day or a wake-up call for Yuzvendra Chahal?
Yuzvendra Chahal, the right-arm leg-spinner from India, notably conceded 64 runs from 4 overs in the second T-20 fixture of India versus South Africa. The RCB bowler he remained wicketless throughout the match and was taken apart by the Proteas batsmen.
64 runs from 4 overs without a wicket: these are the kind of figures any bowler would not wish to have, even on an exceedingly bad day. Runs were scored off his bowling at a staggering rate of 16 runs per over.
Few more runs against him, and the right-arm bowler would have ended up with the worst--ever international T-20 figures for a bowler. This was more shocking because this kind of spell came just after the dream run he had in the recently concluded one day series against the same opposition, in which he took 16 wickets from 6 matches at the economy rate just above to 5.2.
Decoding the performance
When things go wrong, they go wrong in a bundle.
Clearly, it was Heinrich Klaasen's day who scored most of his runs against the leggie, in his impressive innings of 69 runs from just 30 balls, before getting out to a slower delivery from this year's most expensive IPL player, Jayadev Unadkat.
The light showers that started during the 12th over of the innings may have made it difficult for Chahal to get a proper hold of the ball and execute his plans. A catch he dropped off his bowling added salt to the injury.
But the thing most concerning aspect of the spell is that South Africans seemed to have gotten hold of numerous variations and deceptions on the day. These very factors have helped him take 27 wickets from just 16 T20 Internationals.
He also has a terrific presence of mind and makes full use of the valuable pieces of advice he gets from MS Dhoni from behind the stumps. With the help of various technological advancements and research inputs provided by the support staff of the opposition, it may be easy these days to get a knack of how to tackle such variations from a bowler over a short span of time.
The way forward
The brilliant performances from the current limited-overs spin duo of India since the last one and half years have kept the top-ranked Test bowlers, Ashwin and Jadeja, out of the one-day internationals.
Lack of opportunity for these two quality spinners in one-day internationals is a testimony to the form and consistency of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the limited overs formats. However, the wrist-spinners must keep in mind is that the Indian team management has recently made it clear that both Ashwin and Jadeja will definitely be given chances to claim their spots in the World Cup 2019 squad.
Chahal must ensure that Ashwin or Jadeja's selection should not come at the cost of his poor performances. He needs to keep evolving, trying out new things, maintaining his variations and ensure that he's strong at the very basics that have helped him to impress the selectors as well as the fans in a relatively short stint with the time.
Nonetheless, this was a singular bad performance from the youngster. The Indian fan would hope to see him bounce back from the same in a formidable manner to keep troubling his opponents with his clever bowling.