Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav star as India beat Sri Lanka to win ODI series
Wrist spinners Chahal and Kuldeep ensure Team India end year with clean slate in 0DI series
Ever since the selectors took a bold decision to rest R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the one-day internationals and include wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Team India have hardly missed the senior Indian spin duo. Yadav and Chahal became regulars in Team India from the Sri Lanka series in October and have not looked back. Yesterday too, Chahal and Yadav struck in tandem as Sri Lanka slumped from 136 for two to 215 all out. Chahal finished with 10-3-46-3 while Yadav claimed 3-42.
Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (left) and Kuldeep Yadav walk back to the pavilion during the third one-day international against SL in Visakhapatnam yesterday before India's successful run chase. Pic/AFP
Ashwin, Jadeja are kings
Chahal shied away from comparisions. "Ashwin and Jadeja have done so much in the last five to six years while we have played only four to five series. It is unfair to compare Kuldeep and me with them," he said. Yadav set up the dangerous Upul Tharanga (95) well. He got him to drag his foot just outside the crease for MS Dhoni to do the rest and stump him. Chahal bowled the ball of the series to Angelo Mathews, centurion in the second ODI, to deceive him with his flat trajectory that spun to take his off stump.
"I was getting some turn from the other end. I wanted to vary my pace. When you bowl flatter, the batsman thinks that the ball will not turn much. The ball to Mathews drifted in and turned away as he played down the wrong line. It was the ball of the match for me," Chahal explained. Former India leg-spinner L Sivaramakrishnan lauded the duo. "Both are genuine turners of the ball. With this pitch being on the slower side, they gave the ball air. Kuldeep was the one who started bowling slow through the air and the ball turned. Initially, Chahal was bowling quicker through the air, not getting enough purchase and bowled a leg stump line. But towards the middle of his spell, Chahal changed his speed looking at Kuldeep bowl slower and getting a lot of turn and bounce. They made the adjustment beautifully," said Siva, who made a comeback as commentator in this series.
With Chahal and Yadav doing the important job for Team India, Siva sees a bleak chance for Ashwin and Jadeja to return in ODI cricket anytime soon. "Certainly. When you talk about the Indian team, it is not about Ashwin and Jadeja. It is about the team collectively to perform. And these youngsters having being given a chance after Ashwin and Jadeja had a fairly good run… I mean a long rope after the Champions Trophy where they were very expensive. "The Indian selectors have tried wrist spinners and it is working wonderfully well. So, hats off to the selectors and to the wrist spinners for grabbing the opportunity with both hands," he said.
55 No. of runs added by Sri Lanka's last seven batsmen. They were 160 for 3 in the 28th over
95 No. of innings Shikhar Dhawan has taken to complete 4,000 ODI runs, second fastest Indian after Virat Kohli (93 innings)
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