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Yuzvendra Chahal shows clever variation, crosses 100 kph mark to avoid getting hit off free hit

Chahal turned medium pace bowler - for a purpose.

Yuzvendra Chahal can be expected to come up with several tricks while bowling

By getting a Man of the Match award in only his second international outing, Yuzvendra Chahal has enjoyed a very auspicious beginning to his India career. He had match figures of 3/25 on Monday, and just missed out on a hat-trick. He also showed his astuteness by coming up with a very clever variation in only his second over of the day. The presence of mind that he showed proves just why he has been so highly billed by some like his RCB captain Virat Kohli.

He came on to bowl in the 18th over, by which time Vusi Sibanda had found good rhythm, and Zimbabwe were plodding on without major disaster. Chahal went for 10 runs in his first over, including a six from Sibanda’s bat.

In the next over, he produced something not often seen from a leg break spinner’s hand. On the third ball, he bowled a googly which was defended away to the leg side for a single, but the umpire called it a no-ball for overstepping. The umpire waved his arms over his head to signal a free hit – Sikandar Raza was to get a free delivery from Chahal.

The free hit was to produce only a single, as Chahal came up with something which Raza had probably not expected. He bowled a very fast delivery, at 109 kph, wide outside off stump. Chahal is quicker through the air than most spinners, but this was at least 20 kph faster than his usual deliveries.

A delivery bowled at 109 kph is like a delivery more suited to coming from a seam bowler’s hands. Anil Kumble used to come up with similar faster deliveries, bowled at speeds of 100-105 kph.

Chahal has been a discovery of the IPL because he is unfortunate to be turning out for the same state team in Indian domestic cricket as Amit Mishra, the highest rated leg spinner in the country of current times. The IPL has understandably shaped Chahal’s game more than the others in the national team, and such shows of improvisations can be expected from him in the future as well.

Chahal said in the post-match presentation ceremony, "I enjoyed bowling, the wicket was a bit slow. The day before, the Zimbabwe batsmen were not going after me and were a bit defensive, today they were attacking me so I got wickets.

"I was looking to bowl a stump-to-stump line and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) also asked me to bowl slow through the air.”

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