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Virat Kohli the 'Friend' and MS Dhoni the 'Mentor' Behind My Success: Yuzvendra Chahal

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: September 12, 2017, 10:57 AM IST
Virat Kohli the 'Friend' and MS Dhoni the 'Mentor' Behind My Success: Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal with skipper virat Kohli. (AP Image)

New Delhi: From being a youngster trying to make heads turn in the Indian Premier League to becoming India skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in the limited-overs format, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has indeed come a long way. And with the national team set to take on the mighty Australians in 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is, Chahal will once again hold the key with the ball in hand, especially with the national selectors deciding to rest both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

The journey for the Haryana lad has indeed been interesting and speaking to CricketNext, the leg-spinner says it would have been impossible without the guidance of the two pillars of Indian cricket — Kohli and MS Dhoni.

“It is always crucial to have a guiding light, but fortunately for me, I have two in Kohli bhai and Mahi bhai (Dhoni). While the skipper is like a friend, constantly trusting me to go ahead and implement the plans I wish to on the field, Mahi bhai is more like the mentor I turn to every time I have any doubt in my head. Being the wicketkeeper, he has a clear idea of what is going on and what could be the ideal strategy against a certain batsman,” Chahal revealed.

While he has played just 7 ODIs and 7 T20Is, he is already seen as a match-winner by the team think-tank as has been handed the responsibility of the senior spinner in the upcoming series against Steve Smith & boys. But Chahal isn’t losing sleep and feels that the confidence that Kohli has shown him has made him adept to bowling anywhere in the innings and at any stage in the match.

“I must say that thanks to the skipper, I now have the confidence to bowl anywhere in the innings and in any situation. Be it the first over of a T20 game or the 50th over of an ODI game, I am ready to go through the grind and give it my best. And I must say that along with having faith in my own belief, it is the seniors like Kohli bhai and Mahi bhai who make the job of youngsters like me easier,” he said.

Chahal was seen bowling in tandem with Kuldeep Yadav in Sri Lanka and the prospect of sharing the ball with the chinaman gets a grin on the leg-spinner’s face. “I am really looking forward to it. Not often do you get two wrist spinners bowling in tandem so that makes it all the more special. We will look to complement each other if and when we are given a go,” the 27-year-old said.

One thing common with Chahal is that he plays under Kohli not just for India, but also in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore. And Chahal has no doubt that it has made the skipper get to know him and his strengths and weaknesses better. But the spinner isn’t willing to get into the club versus country debate.

“Playing under him in the IPL has ensured that he has a clear idea as to what is my strength and weakness and I am sure that helps him to decide on how he wishes to use me. Also, I feel that both the IPL and playing for India has its own charm and you need to give it your best every time you walk into the field. To me, both are equally important as while I have a city vying for me in the IPL, the country looks up at me to bring smiles every time I wear the national cap,” he said.

Finally, commenting on the upcoming series against Australia, Chahal said: “We will obviously plan for all their players, but too early to talk about it at present. I keep things simple and look to try and do the best I can and not worry too much about the opposition. But then, you do have certain plans for certain batsmen.”

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First Published: September 12, 2017, 10:56 AM IST

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