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Exclusive Interview: RCB Hungry For Maiden IPL Title, Says Chahal

By: Amit Kumar

Edited By: Baidurjo Bhose


Last Updated: March 29, 2017, 13:00 IST

Photo Credit: BCCI

Photo Credit: BCCI

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal feels once the captain backs a bowler like Virat Kohli does, he can bowl with a free mind without succumbing to any pressure.

New Delhi: Yuzvendra Chahal rose to fame due to his performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the past two seasons and it is that time of the year again, when the Haryana leg-spinner is getting ready to weave a web around batsmen with the 10th edition of the IPL just two weeks away.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner spoke exclusively with Cricketnext and shared his plans for this years tournament, saying that it was his performance in the IPL that has helped him gain the confidence to do well at the international level.

"My IPL performances have spurred me on to do well in the Ranji Trophy and I carried the same form into the international arena as well. It is all a matter of confidence and if you do well at the international level, then you feel that you belong there," the 26-year old said in a telephonic interview.

Chahal has been one of the leading bowlers in the IPL over the past two seasons, and narrowly missed out on the Purple Cap on both occasions. Chahal picked up 23 wickets in 15 matches in 2015 and followed that up last year with 21 wickets just 13 matches. His performance helping Royal Challengers Bangalore enter the final of the event, but sadly they couldn’t go on to win it. But Chahal believes the team is determined to break the jinx and win their maiden IPL title this year.


“At RCB we are motivated as a team to go the whole hog this season. It was disappointing to lose the final last year but we are stronger and determined to win the IPL for the first time this season. The new boys have added to our team’s strength and we are confident of doing well," Chahal said.

Chahal has taken his IPL form to the international stage and he was India’s star performer in the T20I series against England, picking up a memorable 6-wicket haul in the decider at Bengaluru, which is second home for the leg-spinner. Chahal says the series was a big learning curve for him.

"This was my first home series and I was nervous ahead of the start of the series. I learnt a lot during those three matches against England and handling the pressure of representing the country is something I learnt during the series."

“I don’t put any pressure on myself but yes when you perform well, people start expecting more from you and that is when you need to step up your game. I try to filter out all of that before going in for a match but yes it feels good if people are looking up to you to help the team win," the leggie said.

Speaking about his relationship with his RCB and India skipper Virat Kohli, Chahal said that Virat Kohli is a bowler’s captain, who supports his bowlers and gives them the freedom to go for wickets.

“Virat Kohli backs you to the hilt as a captain. When I play for Royal Challenger Bangalore, Virat asks me not to worry about getting hit for boundaries and asks me to bowl according to my strengths."

"Once your captain backs you like Virat does, you can bowl with a free mind without succumbing to any pressure. Otherwise in IPL I have seen spinners change their strategy after being hit for six, with Virat around no one needs to worry about such things," Chahal said.

Talking about the new additions to the RCB team, Chahal says the entire squad is excited about the arrival of English paceman Tymal Mills, who will replace Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Starc in the pace bowling department at the Bengaluru outfit.

“Batting has always been our strength and the addition of Tymal Mills will add an edge to our pace attack, which was missing earlier. He has good variations as a paceman in T20 cricket and his pace is definitely an asset in a format where bowlers are taken to the cleaners in every other match."

“Mills has bowled in Bengaluru during England’s T20 tour and that experience will come handy, when he finally makes his IPL debut," Chahal said.

Yuzvendra Chahal is expected to be RCB’s bowling mainstay alongside Mills this season and the bowler hopes that his exploits will finally land RCB their maiden IPL title.

first published:March 22, 2017, 08:22 IST
last updated:March 29, 2017, 13:00 IST
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