New Delhi: Team India's spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal (4/52) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/52) once again showed their prowess with the ball as they shared seven wickets amongst them to set-up an 88-run win over Sri Lanka in the second T20I in Indore in Friday.
Stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma slammed a record-equalling ton (118 off 43 deliveries) while Chahal and Kuldeep shone with the ball as the hosts took a 2-0 unassailable lead in the 3-match series at the Holkar Stadium.
The duo have been bowling consistently over the past one year in the limited-over formats of the game and that has almost guaranteed them a spot in the ODI and T20 squads of India. In the shortest format of the game, both Chahal and Kuldeep have given the 'Men in Blue' an extra dimension, as far as the bowling department is concerned.
In the first match of the series, Chahal scalped four wickets to become the top-wicket-taker of the calendar year and he has now added four more to his tally. While as for Kuldeep, he hasn't been as prolific as Chahal in terms of wickets, but he isn't very far behind the leggie as well. Moreover, Kuldeep has played four matches less than Chahal so far this year.
Top Wicket-takers in T20Is in 2017
1. Yuzvendra Chahal: 23 wickets in 11 matches
2. Rashid Khan: 17 wickets in 10 matches
3. Kesrick Williams: 17 wickets in 9 matches
4. Shadab Khan: 14 wickets in 10 matches
5. Imran Tahir: 14 wickets in 9 matches
9. Jasprit Bumrah: 12 wickets in 11 matches
13. Kuldeep Yadav: 11 wickets in 7 matches
In the second match, at one point, things weren't going well for the spinners and they were hit for runs by Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga. But Chahal and Kuldeep stuck to their guns and from 145/1 in 13.1 overs, the duo helped the hosts bundle out Sri Lanka for 172 in 17.2 overs.
"First three overs, 45 runs, but I was always thinking about wickets. I knew if I got one, I would probably get the second one. The first over (I bowled) was slow in the air, but the wicket was good to bat on and the ball was coming on nicely. Later on I was bowling wide of the batsman," Kuldeep said after the match.
"I realized that I need to bowl it into the wicket. They (Dhoni and Rohit) were backing me and telling to look for the wicket. Small ground with small boundaries, Dhoni and Rohit were telling me to keep away from the batsman and try the variations outside the off-stump. Seven wickets in three overs really changed the game," he added.
Even skipper Rohit Sharma was full of praise for the duo after the match and said that they soak in the pressure well and the team has full faith in their abilities.
"They have been doing well for India and always they bring us back. I don't mind such games where they are put under pressure, they were ready to take the pressure and Kuldeep changed the game and Chahal has been doing well for sometime now. So I always had belief on them," said Rohit.