It is a known fact that Yuzvendra Chahal is the premier spinner for a struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit at present. But during the seasons between 2011 and 2013, the leggie was with Mumbai Indians, having never played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) until 2013 for which he credited Rohit Sharma. It was only in the Champions League T20 in 2011 that the fans saw him.
Mumbai Indians enjoyed a victorious campaign in the 2011 edition, having won the tournament with 13 players in their squad. With Pragyan Ojha and captain Harbhajan Singh mainstay in the spin-bowling attack, Yuzvendra Chahal had to wait for his chance. The final of that competition saw Chahal pick up the wicket of Mayank Agarwal and Arun Karthik that helped Mumbai beat Bangalore by 31 runs.
As far as his IPL game is concerned, it was in 2013 that the 29-year old made his debut against the Kolkata Knight Riders . Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Yuzvendra Chahal handed the credit to Rohit Sharma, who took over as the captain of Mumbai Indians midway from Ricky Ponting. The Haryana-born place faith on him following his showing in the CLT20 and was keen on playing him.
“After Rohit became the captain of MI he came and told me that I am playing the coming game. I told him that there were already two senior spinners in the team. To which he said, ‘I’m the captain now, and you are playing.’ He had faith in me because of my performance in the Champions League T20, and he was keen to play me at any opportunity.”
“So, I had a feeling that I would get to play and so I did” : Yuzvendra Chahal
Recalling the Champions League edition in 2011, Chahal said that there were three spinners out of the 13 players in the squad. With the rest being injured, he had a feeling that he would play. Hence, Yuzvendra Chahal got a chance and made a mark in the final.
“When I joined MI, there were three spinners including me. During the Champions League T-20 that year, only 13 players from our squad were available. Rest were injured. So, I had a feeling that I would get to play and so I did.”