Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal (Credits: AFP)

It is always a difficult task to kill two birds with one stone. India’s leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has played chess at the junior level and he revealed that it was not easy to focus on two sports at the same time while growing up. Chahal even represented India at the World Youth Chess Championship. Subsequently, he had to make the hard choice that which sport will get more attention from him.

In fact, it is well known that chess is a game of patience. One game of chess can last for days and you need a lot of time if you are professional. On the other hand, one needs to practice for at least six to seven for turning a professional cricketer.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Credits: BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal has done a fine job for the Indian team.

Consequently, it was a see-saw battle for Yuzvendra Chahal and he had to pick one sport to pursue his career. After coming back from the World Cup, Chahal decided that it is going to be cricket and he would need to give up on his chess dreams.

“I played my first nationals of Chess in 1998 and at that time I was playing cricket as well. You can’t play both sports at the same time. For Chess, you need 10 – 12 hours of training and then 6 – 8 hours for cricket was getting very difficult. So, when I came back from the World Cup, I told my father I will focus only on cricket.” Chahal told S Badrinath on the show Mind Masters by MFORE on Star Sports.

On the other hand, Chahal revealed that there are a lot of similarities between cricket and chess. Both the sports require a lot of patience and a player has to wait in both the games to make the best possible move. A mistake can cost the match and one has to make the tactical changes.
Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Credit: BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal will look to continue his good show.

“In chess you require a lot of patience as every match is about 6 – 7 hours and you’re playing sitting at one place without speaking much. Similarly, in cricket you sometimes bowl so well but don’t get wickets. So, you have to be patient and keep it in your mind that you are bowling well and you’ll probably get wickets in the next spell,” he added.

Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal has done a fine job for the Indian team in the limited overs format. The leg-spinner has scalped 91 wickets in 52 ODI matches whereas he has snared 55 wickets in 42 T20Is. However, he is yet to make his Test debut for the national side.
Chahal has bagged 100 wickets in 84 IPL matches.

Gautam Chauhan

Cricket is my first love. I want to be a wordsmith. I want to weave magic with my words.