Former Indian opener, Gautam Gambhir has criticized the approach of Yuzvendra Chaha in the ongoing T20I series after the leg-spinner leaked aplenty in the 2nd T20I against South Africa on Sunday. Chahal leaked 49 runs in his quota of four overs. A lot was expected from him after the injury to Kuldeep Yadav as he is the lead spinner. Chahal had headed into the ongoing 5-match series after winning the Purple Cap with 27 wickets for the Royals in IPL 2022.
However, Yuzvendra Chahal has looked lackluster so far in the first 2 T20Is against South Africa. While he got only 2.1 overs in the first T20I, which was a high-scoring affair with South Africa chasing India’s total of 211 with 5 deliveries to spare, Chahal conceded runs to the Proteas batters in the 2nd T20I on Sunday. Chahal got to complete his quota of 4 overs during which he got the wicket of Temba Bavuma (35) but he was put under pressure by Heinrich Klaasen who hit a match-winning 81 from just 46 deliveries.
Speaking to Star Sports after India went 2-0 down in the series, Gautam Gambhir said Chahal needs to take more wickets in the middle overs, saying there are left-arm spinners and finger spinners to do the holding role.
Gautam Gambhir said, “Varying the pace is very important. If you think you can just bowl tight lines and expect the batter to get out, that’s the role of a left-arm spinner. The defensive bowling can be done by a left-arm spinner or a finger spinner. The wrist-spinner is your attacking option. So that mindset needs to be assertive. Even if you give 50 runs in 4 overs, then you need to get 3 wickets to be in a situation to help your team win.”
He further added, “But if you give 40 or 50 in 4 overs and get only a wicket, it’s a problem. If you are floating it in the air and getting hit for two sixes, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you looked at the match, no batter needed to step out and hit Chahal. They stayed back at the crease and hit the leg-spinner which means you tried to bowl with pace. You expect that from Axar, not from Chahal.”
South Africa chased down the target of 149 runs in just 18.2 overs despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking as many as 4 wickets for just 17 runs in his 4-over spell. While Chahal conceded 49, Hardik Pandya leaked 31 runs in 3 overs and Axar Patel was taken to the cleaners (18 runs) in the only over he bowled. Having gone 0-2 down in the 5-match series, Rishabh Pant’s men will be aiming to make a comeback in a must-win 3rd T20I in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.