Ace Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has outlined that the upcoming series against Sri Lanka is very important to him and also declared that the world will see a more confident side of him now. He also added that he doesn’t think there has been any sort of dip in his form in the last few months.
While Kuldeep Yadav’s struggles have been well-documented, Yuzvendra Chahal has also been quite poor of late. Since the end of the 2019 World Cup, he has taken eight wickets in five ODIs at an average of 37.12 while his economy rate has also been on the higher side – 6.45. The leg-spinner has also struggled in the shortest format, taking 16 wickets in 17 games in the period at 37.68 with a poor ER of 9.13.
After playing the first two T20Is, the leg-side was subsequently dropped mid-way from the XI in the T20Is against England while he couldn’t make it to the side for any of the ODI games. However, Chahal doesn’t think he has suffered a lean patch though he did admit that the series against Sri Lanka will be crucial for him.
“My performance – I don’t think it was a dip [in form] or anything. You can’t perform in every match. I will try my level best. This series is very important to me,” Chahal said, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
Chahal said that his focus remains only on the upcoming series and also revealed that the team management has always given him ample confidence.
“I keep having conversations with the bowling coach. They [management] have given us confidence, and that’s why I’m here. If it wasn’t there, no one in the team [would be here]. My main focus at the moment is just this series – there’s been lesser cricket over the last year, but that’s not in our hands. Whatever series happens, we want to perform. After this series, my focus will be on the IPL, and only then the [T20] World Cup. Right now, I’m focusing on this tour only.”
Chahal last played an ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground in November 2020. He had a poor series against Australia. The leggie, who last featured in the IPL for the Bangalore-based franchise, stated that he will be playing after a long time in ODIs, but the practice games have helped him adapt to the conditions.
“I’m playing an ODI series after so long, but we’ve already played here – two practice matches. [We’ve been practicing] early in the morning so that we get used to the heat. It’ll be totally different compared to 20 overs where we’re on the ground for three, three-and-a-half hours.”
The Haryana spinner also feels the difference in the field restrictions rule in ODIs and T20Is won’t impact him as he has enough experience. He also revealed that he’s focussing on working on his variations.
“I’ve played for five years, 50-plus matches, so I’m used to all this. This is not an excuse or something. Now, when I bowl, I just focus on how to get batters out. That’s it. I’ve a couple of variations and I’m focusing on that only, not using other deliveries. You will see a more confident Yuzi in this series. I’m just working on my angles and in general trying to bowl more.”
India will take on Sri Lanka in the first ODI on July 13 in Colombo, with Chahal expected to play a crucial role for the visitors.