Yuzvendra Chahal, an Indian leg spinner, after defeating Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the three-match series, said that is not concerned about the healthy competition between the spinners in the squad as his prime focus lies is on performing well for the Men in Blue.
Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked four scalps while Deepak Chahar scalped two wickets as India defeated Sri Lanka by 38 runs in the first T20I on Sunday. Indian bowlers got the job done without any trouble as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. India bundled out Sri Lanka for 126 in the 19th over.
Yuzvendra Chahal Focuses On Performing Well
As has been the case right through the tour, Sri Lanka was decent with the ball, containing India to 164 for 5, but their batting let them down once more. Between the end of the 5th and 16th over, Sri Lanka scored only 69 runs and lost five wickets. Essentially, with the likes of debutant Varun Chakravarthy impressing, and Yuzvendra Chahal delivering another outstanding spell, Sri Lanka lacked the firepower to mount a serious challenge.
“Definitely, when the bench strength is so good, we have a pool of 30 players. Everyone is doing well, my focus is just on performing well. If you perform well, you stay in the team and if you aren’t, then you cannot stay in the team. I do not look at what others are doing, my focus is on giving good performances,” said Yuzvendra Chahal during the virtual post-match press conference.
“When I was not playing, I was working with my bowling coach and I was working on my craft. Even during the lockdown, I was looking at where I should be bowling. I backed myself before coming on this tour.
“We knew we were 10-15 runs short, but that is okay. Whatever the score is, we have to defend that. My job is to control the middle overs and I was very happy that I did it. I always back myself,” he added.
Yuzvendra Chahal was pretty crucial for India in the middle-overs as he forced the pressure on the batters before Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came up with a flurry of wickets towards the end.
During the 7th over of Sri Lanka’s chase, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal provided the crucial breakthrough for Team India as he bamboozled Dhananjaya de Silva with a classical leg-spinning delivery which turned sharply and kissed the top of the middle stump. He returned with figures of 1/19 in 4 overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal Told Varun Chakravarthy To Bowl Normally In His Debut T20I
The first T20I match saw young opener Prithvi Shaw and mystery-spinner Varun Chakravarthy making their debut for Team India. While Prithvi Shaw departed for a first-ball duck, Varun Chakravarthy picked 1 wicket of Dasun Shanaka conceding 28 runs.
When asked about his conversations with fellow spinner Varun Chakravarthy, Chahal said: “We talked before the match, I told him just to bowl how you do normally. I know the pressure can be there in the first match, it always stays there. I suggested to keep bowling the way he does, nothing changes whether you are playing international cricket or IPL.”
Earlier, Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga picked two wickets each as Sri Lanka restricted India to 164/5. Suryakumar Yadav top-scored for the visitors as he played a knock of 50 runs.
“Talking about today’s match, the end from where I was bowling from, the boundary on the leg-side was shorter and the Sri Lanka batters were looking to hit me on the legside. So that is why I did not bowl googly much, I was just looking to bowl dot balls. The total was not that big and we could not afford conceding fours and sixes, hence I kept mixing it up,” said Chahal.
“During the lockdown, I talked to the coach, there was nothing much that I needed to change, I was just looking to think about one line that I need to be bowling more. I discussed it with bowling coach Bharat Arun. The more confident I am in my bowling ability, the better I will bowl,” he added.
Coming to bat at No.4 Suryakumar Yadav once again proved his mettle. After bagging the man of the series award in the recently concluded ODI series, the Mumbai Indians batsman began the T20I series with a fantastic half-century off just 34 balls and helped his team put a respectable total of 164 runs.