With the T20 World Cup set to be played in Australia, every international game in the shortest format is being analysed with an eye on that tournament. The same has been the case for India’s recently concluded five-match T20I series against South Africa. While hosts India went 2-0 down in the series, they did well to come back to make it 2-2 before the final match was washed out.
A number of individuals played key roles in India’s turnaround in the series, among whom was spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal had surprisingly missed out on the T20 World Cup last year and India went on to crash out of the tournament in the Super 12 stage itself. Chahal had underperformed in the first half of the 2021 IPL after losing his spot in the Indian team but he seemed to have returned to form in the second half that was held in the UAE a month before the World Cup, because of which his exclusion was a surprised.
He has only continued that form since after the World Cup, taking three and two wickets respectively in the third and fourth T20Is of the series against South Africa. Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels that Chahal is set to play an integral role for India in this year’s T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in Australia in October and November.
“Yuzvendra Chahal is a player who was missed a lot in the last World Cup. He will definitely emerge as a trump card in Australia and give the Indian team good success,” said Bangar on Star Sports.
“If any leg-spinner has played consistently for a long time for India, that is Anil Kumble. After Anil Kumble, if any wrist-spinner has played consistently for India or a long time, it is Yuzvendra Chahal.”
Bangar said that playing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru while he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), one of the smaller grounds in India, had a positive impact on Chahal.
“Absolutely, it has played a huge role. It is tested how big a heart you have. When you learn to get hit and are not afraid of getting hit, then you learn how to bowl.
“He changes his seam position slightly, bowls different-different lines, this has been his strength. He has brought a very good aspect in his game, that is to bowl on wider lines to both right-handers and left-handers. That learning that he has got has come from Chinnaswamy only,” he said.