Barring a surprise 3-2 loss to Australia in March, the Indian team has been a dominant force in ODI cricket over the past couple of seasons. A defining factor in this run has been the rise of spin-bowling duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Since their debut, the pair has picked up a combined 159 wickets and have played significant roles in India’s series wins in South Africa and Australia.
Chahal is of the opinion that the trust that the pair share has played a big role in their success. “We both know each other for a long time now," said Chahal.
“We bowl in partnership. If he is going first then he tells me which areas I should be looking to hit and I do the same. Mahi bhai (M.S. Dhoni) also keeps giving his opinion. We never thought about things that we may not be able to do and just took the chance when we got it," he said.
Chahal also said that the experience of other players in the team has been helpful for the pair. This included Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, whose appearances in the Indian limited overs setup have reduced with the rise of the wrist spin duo. “It is unfair to compare us with them. I have not played with Ashwin too many times, but Jaddu pa has never shied from helping me out whenever I have asked him for tips," said Chahal.
“Mahi bhai helps us in figuring out how the wicket is going to play. Along with him there is Virat bhai and Rohit bhai (Rohit Sharma). In our team we have a number of captains and they all respect each other and that has played a big role in the success that Kuldeep and I have enjoyed," he said.
Chahal, like many of his teammates in the Indian team, ended up playing all group matches for his Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore. This has led to worries about the fatigue that comes from the hectic schedule of the cash-rich T20 tournament. But Chahal was of the opinion that getting match practice of any form is good for a player going into an event like the World Cup.
“You learn more during a match than you ever will in a net session. The players we face in the IPL are not too different from the ones we will face in the World Cup. So if we perform well here then the confidence we gain is always good for us," he said.