Yuzvendra Chahal and Virat Kohli    AFP
Yuzvendra Chahal and Virat Kohli AFP

India skipper Virat Kohli‘s go-to-bowler in shorter formats is turning out to be Yuzvendra Chahal. He was the star performer in the recently-concluded ODIs and T20Is versus New Zealand. He made vital contributions in the series decider of both ODIs and T20Is. The leg spinner opened up on Kohli’s advise, skipper’s ploy, what keeps him going in tough situations, and how he is always thinking while on the field.

Kohli tells me…

Chahal told Hindustan Times, “Virat bhai has always told me that even if I concede runs, if I get him a couple of wickets in the middle overs, he won t mind. In T20s, he told me if I go for 35 runs in 4 overs but pick two or three wickets, he will be happy.”

Plan B in Thiruvananthapuram

“However, in the last T20 at Trivandrum, in my second over, the plan was (to restrict) not to go for wickets because if I attacked, I would have had to flight the ball and either I would have got a wicket or got hit for a six,” Chahal, added.

How Chahal earned Munro’s wicket in Kanpur thriller

“Against Munro at Kanpur, I bowled a slower ball, he got beaten and there was an appeal for stumping. I got a clue he liked to stand and deliver, and doesn t believe in leaning into his shot. I thought I could bowl a little up and if I am getting turn that will be my plus point. I wanted him to go over cover as it was inside the circle. The flight was good, it dipped and he played without leaning into the shot. The risk involved was very high.

Credit to coaching staff and Dhoni

Our coaching staff has really helped (in attacking middle-stump). On the field, Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) reads the situation very well, so he tells how to plan. The ball outside off-stump is a variation but my strength is to keep hitting the spot. At the same time if I am bowling slowly and the ball isn t turning, the batsman is caught in two minds, (not sure) it will turn or not.

Dew factor

Dew will be there at this time of the year, but I simply don t think about it. If you do, your focus wavers from bowling. There is no point putting unnecessary pressure on you. You have to be mentally strong and back yourself saying ‘I will bowl well no matter what’. Once you do that the thought of tackling dew goes away completely. Then you can focus on how to plan a batsman s dismissal.”