With Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav troubling South African batsmen in the ongoing series between India and South Africa, former Proteas chinaman bowler Paul Adams has hailed the impact that the duo has made since their inclusion in the side. He also said that with the ability to play two wrist spinners in the ODI side, India are in a unique position in world cricket.
Chahal and Yadav picked up 33 wickets between themselves in 6 ODIs, helping India to their first ever ODI series victory in South Africa. Adams was quotes as saying by PTI, “If you look at the way cricket has gone in recent times, it has become more in favour of batsmen. So it is great for India that they are able to include both in the same playing eleven. Yes, they are wrist spinners but they are different. They can take the ball away from batsmen. With different angles and different deliveries, they are very potent.”
Chahal and Yadav replaced Ashwin and Jadeja in the limited overs format as the Indian team set out to experiment with more spinning options before the 2019 World Cup. Both have performed extremely well ever since they were included in the team.
Adams, who was famous for his unorthodox chinaman action added, “India are eager to use both together and their team balance even allows for it. Not a lot of teams can do that – include two spinners in the same ODI eleven, let alone two wrist spinners. South Africa usually don’t use two spinners in ODIs or T20Is. At Johannesburg ODI, they didn’t have a single spinner on a good batting surface. Yet, India were able to play both. It is definitely a unique position to be in.”
Talking about the pace at which Yadav and Chahal bowl, Adams added that the delivery that goes away will always be a threat across any format of cricket. “Their success is down to slow pace. Yes, they haven’t played in South Africa before but they saw the pitches here and knew that they had to bowl at a slower pace. They were put under pressure in only one match but it was down to conditions. The pitch was good for batting and they were attacked. But leave that game aside, they have been nearly unplayable,” he said.
“Chahal has a lot of consistency. He gives a lot of rotation to the ball, which is good. Yadav’s googly is very bothersome for the batsmen and not easy to read. The other thing that has worked from them is that they can take the ball away from batsmen. Someone like Ashwin has a lot of variations and I hear he is even developing some traits of leg spin. But these wrist spinners can move the ball naturally in both directions and that is more potent. When I said that Chahal gives good rotation on the ball, it implies that he controls the ball well. He has more consistency in his line and length, which makes it difficult to score off him. Yadav is more prone to spray the ball.”
Finally, Adams also spoke about how the IPL has greatly helped spinners develop their art. He also said that he was not worried about the future of South African batting against spin. “IPL does provide different challenges and settings. Chahal and Yadav are used to bowling in difficult situations and so learn to develop their skills like how to beat batsmen in flight, or trajectory, or change of pace. To a degree the IPL is helpful for batsmen as well but on those pitches you cannot learn how to play spin. You can only hit it.”
“But I don’t think there is a huge worry at the moment about this (South African batsmen’s struggles against spin). Players don’t arrive at the international level as finished products. The best players learn on the job. A-tours to the subcontinent or even other conditions are beneficial. Young batsmen need to soak that experience in and work with that knowledge. After that, junior-level coaches will have a great responsibility in preparing the next generation of batsmen,” he concluded.