IPL 2020: Yuzvendra Chahal – RCB's Wicket-taking Game Changer in the Middle Overs

As he has done on numerous occasions in his IPL career, RCB’s middle-overs’ specialist, Yuzvendra Chahal, picked three big wickets at critical junctures to change the match in his team's favour.

IPL 2020: Yuzvendra Chahal – RCB's Wicket-taking Game Changer in the Middle Overs

SRH were cruising at 89 for 1 in the 12th over with Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey threatening to make the chase against RCB in Dubai one-sided.

Cometh the Hour and Cometh the Man!

As he has done on numerous occasions in his IPL career, RCB’s middle-overs’ specialist, Yuzvendra Chahal, got the prized scalp of Pandey getting him caught at long-off off the last delivery of his third over.

The leg-break bowler was introduced in the 8th over and immediately put a break on the scoring rate conceding just 4, 6 (10th over) and 6 including 4 byes (12th over) in his first three overs. He bowled as many as 7 dot balls to two set and attacking batsmen giving away no boundaries in the spell.

With Bairstow still going all guns blazing, SRH had raced to 121 for 2 after 15 overs needing just 43 to win from 30 deliveries – that would be considered an easy chase in today’s times of T20 cricket.

RCB needed some magic. The pressure was on their bowlers. Dale Steyn had been taken for 13 in the previous over (15th). Umesh Yadav had been smacked for 14 in the 14th.

ALSO READ: Yuzvendra Chahal Changed the Game for RCB - Virat Kohli

Kohli turned to his spin wizard – Chahal – it was the last throw of the dice for RCB.

And it turned out to be the turning point!

Chahal did not disappoint his captain as he castled Bairstow with the second delivery of his 16th before cleaning up Vijay Shankar with a ripper of a googly – two wickets in two deliveries!

The match had turned on its head.

Chahal ended his 4-over spell conceding just 18 runs and more crucially picking up three huge wickets at critical moments in the match.

The momentum swung, RCB held their nerve and went on to win by 10 runs.

Also Read: Talking Points from Royal Challengers Bangalore's Last-gasp Win over Sunrisers Hyderabad

Chahal was their match-winner with the ball. He displayed two quintessential qualities – of picking crucial opposition wickets and controlling the flow of runs in the middle overs.

Chahal is the leading wicket-taker for RCB in the IPL. He has picked 103 wickets in 83 innings at a strike rate of 17.3.

Amongst the 47 bowlers with a minimum of 50 wickets in the IPL, Chahal’s strike rate is the joint third-highest and the second-best for a spinner only after Imran Tahir (15.5).

His bowling average of 22.67 also places him at number 4 only after Lasith Malinga (19.8), Imran Tahir (20.39) and Rashid Khan (22.25).

He was the highest wicket-taker for RCB in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

Chahal has also been brilliantly restrictive. Despite being an attacking leg-break bowler to have an economy rate of less than 8 is very impressive!

On an average, he has bowled more dot balls per over in the IPL than the likes of Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha, Axar Patel, Imran Tahir and even Shane Warne!

Chahal might have just provided the early spark that RCB needs to spur them on and go all the way in the tournament.