Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav
08.12.2020,12:12 439 0

If you are a team from the Indian subcontinent, then one of the most important things you should take care of are the spinners. All subcontinental teams have a rich history of spinners and India is not an exception. Laxman Shivramkrishnan, Bishan Singh Bedi and Anil Kumble are a few of those who have bamboozled batsmen with their spin. When R. Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh’s form started declining, Indian selectors started looking for other options. In the period from mid-2016 to early 2017, they finally came up with India’s current main spin duo – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. It was just a matter of time they started spinning their web to trap batsmen all over the world.

Let us dive deeper into their spin web of ‘KulCha’.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav: Comparison

Commonly known as ‘KulCha’ (an abbreviation of Kuldeep and Chahal), these two halves of one great spin duo are mirror images of each other. Chahal bowls right-arm leg-break, on the other hand, Kuldeep bowls left-arm leg-break (chinaman). Chahal started his career with the under-19 team followed by stints in domestic cricket and the IPL. Yadav caught the eyes of selectors through performances in the IPL first and then in the domestic cricket arena.

Rather than going for wickets, Chahal waits for batsmen to make mistakes by setting them up bowling regular leg-breaks and occasionally a googly. He has the qualities of a finger-spinner as well as a wrist-spinner. He is also not a big turner of the ball but relies on his control over the line and length. He doesn’t have many variations either. Most of the time he keeps the ball towards the batsman’s leg stump using the drift or towards outside off full length keeping deep extra cover. In 91 wickets, his leg-breaks contribution is 83% while his googly contribution is only 14%. Batsmen find it difficult to figure out his action and have lost 36% of their wickets by either LBW or bowled.

Kuldeep has a different approach to bowling. He goes to attack batsmen by bowling variations of leg spins and googlies. While bowling, he also makes brilliant use of the bounce of the pitch. Sliders and flights are also in his range of variations. He rarely changes his action while bowling these many variations. When compared to Chahal, Yadav gets a big turn with the ball with a good amount of speed. His T20I average is far better than Chahal’s because of these differences. 32% of his 104 wickets have been taken either by LBW or by bowled and more than 15 by stumpings.

In the last 10-15 games, batsmen have started picking Yadav. His average in the last 5 games has been 66.8. His fuller and wider bowling approach along with his quick first arm drop have made it easier for the batsmen to read his deliveries. This has made Indian Captain Virat Kohli choose Yuzvendra Chahal in crunch situations to take wickets over Kuldeep Yadav. Interestingly, both of them were a part of the IPL Franchise Mumbai Indians in the 2012 season but remained unused.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s Performance

Chahal caught everyone’s eyes with his 34 wickets and 300 plus runs in the National Under-19 Cooch Bihar Trophy 2009. He started playing for Haryana in domestic competitions in late 2009. The IPL franchise Mumbai Indians picked him up in the 2011 auctions. He took 2 wickets for 9 runs in 3 overs in the CLT20 final to help MI win their first CLT20 trophy. After getting picked up by Royal Challengers Banglore in the 2014 IPL auctions, he became their leading wicket-taker in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. This earned him a call-up to the national team in 2016. He made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in June 2016. Since then, he has played over 52 ODIs and has taken 91 wickets at an average of 25.83 and an economy of 5.07. In 2019, he got his best figures of 6 wickets for 42 runs against Australia. Shortly after his ODI debut, he made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in June 2018. He became the first Indian bowler to take 5 wickets in a T20I against England. He took 6 wickets for 25 runs. In 42 T20Is for India, he has taken 55 wickets at an average of 24.34 and an economy of 8.18. He is still waiting for his Test debut.

Yuzvendra Chahal has also represented India internationally in chess.

Kuldeep Yadav’s Performance

Kuldeep was just 17 when he was first signed by the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in 2012. In India’s 2014 ICC Under-19 World Cup Campaign, he took 14 wickets to become the joint second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with a hat trick. Kolkata Knight Riders picked him up for USD 66,000 in the 2014 IPL auctions. He started playing for Uttar Pradesh in the domestic arena in 2014. After multiple good domestic and IPL performances, Yadav earned his Test cap in March 2017 against Australia. He was the first Indian left-arm leg-spinner. He took 4 wickets in the first innings to help India win by 8 wickets. In 6 Tests, he has taken 24 wickets at an average of 24.12 and an economy of 3.51. He made his ODI debut against the West Indies in June 2017. He has taken 104 wickets in 60 ODIs at an average of 26.16 and an economy of 5.11. He is the only Indian player to take two hat tricks in ODIs. One against Australia and another one against the West Indies. Yadav got his T20I debut against the West Indies in July 2017. In 21 T20Is played so far, he has taken 39 wickets at an average of 13.76 and a career-best 5 wickets for 24 runs.

Kuldeep Yadav started playing as a left-arm seamer but eventually switched to left-arm leg spin because of his slight build.

Statistical Comparison

ODIs

MatchesInningsWicketsAverageEconomyStrike rateBest Figures
Yuzvendra Chahal52519125.835.0730.56/42
Kuldeep Yadav605810426.165.1130.66/25

T20I

MatchesInningsWicketsAverageEconomyStrike rateBest Figures
Yuzvendra Chahal42425524.348.1817.86/25
Kuldeep Yadav21203913.767.1111.65/24

IPL

MatchesInningsWicketsAverageEconomyStrike rateBest Figures
Yuzvendra Chahal939211322.817.7617.614/25
Kuldeep Yadav44434030.908.2722.404/20

First-Class (Domestic)

MatchesInningsWicketsAverageEconomyStrike rateBest Figures
Yuzvendra Chahal31488433.213.06656/44
Kuldeep Yadav315012130.023.6649.16/73

Statistically, Chahal and Yadav have almost the same record in ODIs with Chahal’s figures slightly better than his teammate’s. In T20Is, the picture is different. Yadav has a far better average, economy and strike rate compared to Chahal. On the other hand, Chahal is outclassing Yadav when it comes to the IPL. He has the upper hand in all the stats and plays a key role in RCB’s plan for success.  In the domestic arena, Kuldeep has proven better when it comes to wicket-taking when compared to Chahal.

Conclusion

Indian cricket team has capitalised on the spin web of their prolific spin duo. It will be no surprise that KulCha will keep bamboozling batsmen in near future to contribute to the team’s success in their glory days.

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