While the Indian cricketing fraternity is currently engrossed with the Indian Premier League, there is absolutely no denying that the upcoming England tour is at the back of everyone’s mind.
Virat Kohli & Co. will tour England for a full-fledged series, kick starting in July with the limited-overs leg. India will take on the hosts in three T20I and as many ODIs before extending the rivalry in the five-Test series. India had endured nightmare outings on the last two tours of England, losing 7 of the nine Tests while winning just one. With form and momentum on their side, India will be desperate to turn things around on the upcoming tour. One of the key men for India will be Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner has become an indispensable part of the limited-overs teams and will have a big role to play in England.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore star has already set his sight on the tour. After the game against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, he said that he would start preparing for the tour as soon as the IPL ends.
“Just like they have videos of our games, we also have theirs. And before England, we are going to Ireland. The weather is expected to be the same as in England. I have a month left after IPL. I will go to NCA for training. There I will have a chat with my coach, Hirwani Sir (ex-India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, the spin coach),” he said at the post-match conference.
“He has also played earlier in the UK. So, I will ask him about the weather. And our A team will go first, and I have a lot of friends and will find out from them how helpful the pitches are and how the bounce is,” he added.
He further said that the Royal Challengers need to improve their death bowling. The Kohli-led side once again conceded a massive 181 against the Daredevils. But fortunately for them, a sizzling display from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers fired them to a 5-wicket win in the must-win clash.
“When you play for India, they are all our best bowlers. You take Bhuvi pa (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) or Jasprit (Bumrah), they are death overs specialists. Here youngsters may be playing for the first time. There will be big crowds and they might be feeling the pressure,” said Chahal before adding: “We’re making mistakes in the death overs, but we’ll gradually improve.”
Chahal is having a lukewarm season so far. He has managed only 10 wickets in 11 games thus far. However, he managed to make a mark on Saturday, removing the in-form Prithvi Shaw and the dangerous Jason Roy cheaply. When asked about his performance, he said:
“If I am not getting wickets, then I am also giving away fewer runs. That means, this year the batsmen are not attacking me that much; though they have seen me more now, videos and all.”
Chahal also defended the batting department despite Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who scored 70 and 72 not out respectively on Thursday, having to carry the side every time.
“If we reached the final in 2016, it’s because of the batsmen. In every match, they were the guys who scored 200 plus. As bowlers, we should also be aware every time we will not get to defend 200.”
Royal Challengers will next take on Kings XI Punjab on Monday in yet another do-or-die clash.