India’s Wrist Spin Duo Build A Perfect Tempo In Shorter Versions Of The Game


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The Indian cricket team have finally found a substantial wrist spin option in the form of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the shorter versions of the game and so far the duo have ticked all the right boxes.
The warm camaraderie between the duo was a special sight in the recently concluded 3rd One Day International (ODI) on December 17, as the hosts surged past Sri Lanka to seal the 3-match series 2-1. Their energy and intensity needs to get a special mention especially at a time when cricket series are on the rise. What pleases most is the team looks in safe hands with the duo showing all the nerves to handle big games.
The pair have been donning the limelight in recent matches in the shorter format of the game as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to be rested for the same. Both Kuldeep and Chahal have taken their chances and have garnered a lot of attention and interest with a string of laudable outings. In the recently concluded ODI series decider, the duo were magnificent as they dismantled the Lankans from 160/2 to 215 all out.
Playing them together in tandem often gives the side plenty of options especially in home conditions, but they, too, will not always feature in the same game. Amidst their partnership, Kuldeep and Chahal are fighting against each other too for a spot in the eleven. In the 2nd ODI at Mohali, Chahal was picked ahead of Kuldeep and there will be times based on the conditions where the latter finds a spot.
Having two wrist spinners in the same team is not favoured by skippers in the shorter formats. It has been seen with both Virat Kohli and now stand-in captain Rohit Sharma preferring an attacking option alongside a containing bowler on the other side. That’s where someone like Axar Patel comes into play. But the dimension both these wrist spinners with an attacking mindset gave Rohit in the 3rd ODI, it will at least tempt him to use them together more often.
The 27-year-old Chahal made his ODI and T20I debut in 2016 and since then has featured consistently up till now. Meanwhile, Kuldeep entered the fray this year and he too has gone on to feature heavily. The duo have taken 72 wickets between them in this period comprising in both ODIs and T20Is. They helped the side find success in all the limited overs series at home that boasted of some big teams including the likes of Australia and New Zealand.
The selectors have gone for a diversified approach in finding a balance of players between Tests and the shorter versions of the game. With Ashwin and Jadeja mainly limited to Tests in the past year or so, besides the ICC Champions Trophy earlier this year, the selectors will be satisfied in the manner the other quartet of Chahal, Yadav and Axar have responded.
It also gives both Ashwin and Jadeja room to focus more on Test cricket and perform ably overseas as well. The next two years see the Indian side touring the nations that feature heavyweights of the game and the experience on offer from both Ashwin and Jadeja will be helpful. Also they are needed to help Chahal, Axar and Kuldeep to prepare them for the battle against the best batsmen of the game in pace friendly wickets.
What will excite the players, management and the fans alike is the competition at offer between these players in the shorter versions at the moment. So far the healthy rivalry has rubbed off well. Chahal and Kuldeep deserve a place in the side and the selectors are happy to oblige.
Kuldeep’s attributes lie in getting the ball to flight blended with varied lengths and angles. A lot of skidded deliveries are often seen too. On the other hand, Chahal is excellent in spinning the ball away and that is interesting because he does not flight the ball as much as conventional leg-spinners do.
India have had a perfect home season since last year and the vital tour of South Africa awaits them starting next month. After the Test series, India play 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is which will excite India’s wrist spin duo when they take on the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and David Miller to name a few.


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