There was a time when it would have been unfathomable to drop Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from any format but what a difference a year can make! Ashwin last played an ODI in June 2017 while Jadeja last appeared for India in an ODI on July 9, 2017. The duo didn’t feature in the ODI series in Sri Lanka and were also left out of the ODI series at home against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Fans were left scratching their heads with the turn of events but the team management’s decision to back young wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has borne fruit and how. Chahal and Yadav have taken to international cricket like a duck to water and India’s new spin sensations have made themselves a key part of the Virat Kohli-led Team India.
The two wrist spinners had a brilliant run at home last year against the visiting Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka teams but there were quite a few doubts regarding their effectiveness in overseas conditions. However, all such doubts have been dispelled with much aplomb in the first two ODIs against South Africa.
Chahal took two wickets while giving away 45 runs off his full quota of overs in the opening ODI at Durban while Kuldeep was even better, picking up two wickets for just 34 runs off his 10 overs.
They were at it again in Centurion as Chahal turned destroyer-in-chief in Centurion to claim his maiden five-wicket haul while Yadav proved to be the perfect foil, taking three wickets.
Speaking to birthday boy Bhuvneshwar Kumar on bcci.tv on Monday, India’s two star spinners revealed that they are thoroughly relishing bowling on South African pitches, even more than bowling in India.
When asked about their preparation for the South Africa tour, Kuldeep said, “Obviously, there was a lot of preparation, we knew that the wickets will be fast here and that would be helpful for the spinners. When we play in India, the ball comes slower off the wicket and batsmen get the time to play it.
“Both Chahal and I have relished the bounce on South African wickets and that has been advantageous because batsmen don’t have that much time to get on the backfoot. I am really enjoying bowling here, I feel I am enjoying bowling here even more than India.”
Chahal, on his part, added: “I had come here with India A, so I was aware about the pitch conditions here. Like Kuldeep said, the ball is coming fast off the wicket. There is good bounce here so don’t have to think too much and just bowl like the way we use to.”
Chahal’s maiden ODI five-for helped India bowl out South Africa for a paltry 118, their lowest ODI total at home. Shikhar Dhawan scored an unbeaten 51 as India chased down the target in 20.3 overs.
India now lead the six-match series 2-0 and face South Africa in the third ODI at Newlands, Cape Town on Wednesday.
Source by:- ndtvShare: