Premier India leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal reveals that he idolises Shane Warne and that the Australian legend is his source of inspiration. Chahal says that he understood the art of leg-spin by watching videos of the champions Aussie.
Chahal enjoyed and learned about different variations of leg-spin while watching and reading about Warne and how he foxed the batters.
The RCB wizard points out that Warne’s famous ‘Ball of the Century’ to Mike Gatting – which pitched outside the leg-stump and hit his off-stump leaving the batsman in disbelief – is a dream of every budding leg-spinner and that he had delivered one very similar to that. Warne picked 1001 international wickets, and Chahal wishes to follow the Aussie’s footsteps for his country.
“I started watching videos of Shane Warne sir, and that’s where I realized what leg-spin is. He was my idol, and I wanted to be like him, bowl like him. I used to enjoy the way he used to trap the batsman. One class that he had was about controlling the drift, so that’s what I learned by watching his videos all the time,” said Yuzvendra Chahal in his online class on FrontRow.
“The way he bowled Mike Gatting, which is every leg-spinner’s dream delivery, made me feel that even I should get a batsman out like that once. And, I guess that came true during the New Zealand tour when I took Martin Guptill’s wicket. I think that was my special delivery,” he added.
I was a medium pacer in school cricket: Yuzvendra Chahal
Chahal, who is India’s joint-leading T20I wicket-taker, actually was a medium pacer during his school days. It was his father who suggested him to switch to spin bowling as the pacers carry the risk of injuring themselves often.
“In the beginning, in school, I used to bowl medium-pace. Later, dad said that medium pacers need a proper body, and it also involves more risks of injury. Later, I don’t know what came over me, and I started bowling leg-spin. We used to play with a tennis ball in our neighborhood lanes, and back then I used to bowl medium-pace, and when I got tired I used to switch to off-spin or leg-spin,” revealed Yuzvendra Chahal.
The Haryana-born then decided to pick wrist spin over finger spin as the ball turns more while bowling leg-spin. The 30-year-old opines that leg-spinners are difficult to be understood by the batters compared to off-spinners.
“I realized that the ball is turning more in leg-spin, which would make things difficult for the batsmen, so this made me enjoy bowling leg-spin more. I think dad made me realize it. And, I feel one should also spend more time on what you enjoy, whether you want to be a medium-pacer or a leg-spinner,” the leggie said.