With every passing game, Yuzvendra Chahal is justifying the team-management bold call to pin its hope on wrist-spinner. The leg-spinner has not looked back since being drafted in the One-Day International team last year. He did extremely well in suitable conditions and has now further enhanced his conditions with two impressive outings in the ongoing series against South Africa.
After taking 2 for 45 in the first ODI, the 27-year old picked up the stunning figures of 5 for 22 in the second game on Sunday (February 4) as India trounced the hosts by 9 wickets. At 51 for 1, the Proteas were looking well in a strong position before Chahal dismissed Quinton de Kock to trigger a collapse. Kuldeep Yadav then took two wickets inside an over to reduce the hosts 51/1 to 51/4.
The mini-collapse as followed by a good stand between Khaya Zondo and JP Duminy. However, just when it looked Zondo and Duminy have settled down, Chahal took another important breakthrough by forcing the former to miscue a sweep shot. Zondo’s dismissal ended the dangerous-looking 48 run stand.
Eight runs later, Chahal accounted for Duminy too to all but end Proteas’ hopes of posting a challenging total. Chahal went on dismiss Chris Morris and Morne Morkel to complete his maiden five-wicket haul. Chahal’s 5 for 22 is the best figures by an Indian against South Africa and as expected the leggie was over the moon after his sensational performance.
Speaking after his performance, Chahal said it was a great feeling to take the maiden five-for in the ODIs. He also spoke about the support he gets from his senior teammates.
“Great feeling. My first five-for in ODIs. And, obviously, when you perform well for your country, it’s a good feeling,” said Chahal who had taken 6 for 25 in a T20I against England last year.
“When I bowled my first ball, there was grip on the wicket. So the idea was to vary pace, bowl faster, and other times bowl fuller. This was a really good wicket, more consistent turn than Durban. The captain always backs me up, even Mahi bhai [MS Dhoni]. I’ve played some matches — T20Is, IPL as well. I’m confident,” added Chahal.
Coming to the match, India chased down the 119-run target with utmost ease in the end. After Rohit Sharma was sent back cheaply by Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli shared an unbeaten partnership of 94 runs to take the team home.