New Delhi: During his formative years in the circuit, Yuzvendra Chahal had often spoken about how playing chess helped him play mind games with opposition batsmen on the pitch.
And even as the nation continues to be in awe of Chahal after he single-handedly orchestrated India's victory in the T20I series decider against England in Bengaluru, the Haryana lad still attributes his success to the board game.
Cricket may not be a sport as intriguing as chess, but it does require the same level of anticipation and street-smartness to fox the opposition.
Chahal’s spectacular show in Bengaluru bore testimony to the fact that the leg-spinner does believe in using his guile to plot the opposition’s downfall.
Chahal’s figures of 6/25 helped India register a massive 75-run victory over England in the third T20I and helped Virat Kohli and Co clinch the three-match series 2-1 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
"It was my second series after the tour of Zimbabwe. The first tour was a learning curve for me. I had plans and with the help of Virat bhai, I executed them," Chahal said.
Chahal's figure of 6/25 is the third best bowling effort in T20Is and the best by an Indian. Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis dominates the first two positions with figures of 6/8 against Zimbabwe and 6/16 against Australia.
“It always feels good when you see yourself on the top. It is an amazing feeling, but I don't want to get carried away with this. I have a long way to go and I wish to keep learning and give my best every time I step on the field," the youngster said.
"I have grown up watching him [Yuvraj] playing. He is a legend and an inspiration for me. It was a proud moment for me when Yuvi bhai lifted me. He is a motivation for every youngster like me.”
One being asked about his conversation with Yuvraj after the match-winning spell, Man of the Match Chahal said: "Well done Yuzi! Aur achha karna aage - these were Yuvi bhai's words after we won the match."
Chahal doesn't want to give much attention to the Indian Premier League which is just a month away.
"I want to take one step at a time. For now, my focus is on Ranji Trophy one-day tournament and then the IPL," Chahal signed off.