Can Yuzvendra Chahal excel in Tests? Here's what Swann feels
Yuzvendra Chahal is arguably the best spinner in white-ball cricket at present. He was seen in action during India's first T20I against Ireland. He bagged match-winning figures worth 1/11 in the rain-curtailed affair. Highlighting Chahal's competence, former England cricketer Graeme Swann believes that the 31-year-old should be picked for India's Test squad right away. We decode his stats.
"I'd sit down with Yuzi and I'd say, 'What is it? Do you want to play for India?' If he does, I'd have him in the squad straight away," said Swann to the Times of India. The former cricketer reckons Chahal is the best spinner in the world, given the latter's control over leg-spin, more so, when there's plenty of dew on offer.
- Chahal is one of India's premium bowlers in international cricket.
- He has been a highly consistent wicket-taker across the limited-overs.
- He continues to stack up match-winning numbers in a tournament as intense as IPL.
- It has been six years since his debut but Chahal has been eluded the coveted Test cap.
- Swann feels that it's common among spinners to be pigeonholed early into formats.
Chahal is the leading wicket-taker for India in T20Is. He attained the feat earlier this year, affecting his 67th dismissal against Sri Lanka. The leg-spinner surpassed Jasprit Bumrah, who owns 66 wickets, the most by an Indian pacer in the format. As of now, Chahal has snapped up 75 wickets across 60 T20Is at an average of 24.66.
Chahal is India's leading wicket-taker in T20I cricket since his debut (June 18, 2016). He has the second-most wickets overall in this period, having scalped 75. Notably, no other Indian bowler has claimed more than 50 T20I wickets in this duration.
Chahal has bagged 104 scalps across 61 appearances in 50 overs. He averages a laud-worthy 27.44 and has maintained an economy of 5.17. Most notably, the leggie has three four-wicket hauls and two five-wicket hauls in this format. Chahal's best figures read 6/42 which he claimed against Australia in the third and final ODI at MCG in 2019.
Chahal took three wickets in the third of five-match T20Is against SA held of late. With this, he overtook senior off-spinner R Ashwin (276) in terms of T20 wickets. The former now leads the wickets tally for India in overall T20s. Chahal owns 281 wickets from 248 T20s at an average of 23.88. The tally includes two five-wicket hauls.
Chahal is the only Indian spinner to have taken over five wickets in a T20I inning (6/25 vs England, 2017). The feat has been attained by just one other Indian (Deepak Chahar: 6/7). Moreover, he is the only Indian bowler with two four-wicket hauls in the format. Chahal has taken the most number of wickets stumped by an Indian (8).
Despite being a leg-spinner, Chahal has fared well in foreign conditions. He has taken 27 wickets from 25 away games, the most by an Indian. Chahal also has the most wickets by an Indian in a winning cause (60 at just 19.10).
Chahal has astounding numbers in IPL. He is the joint-third-highest wicket-taker, having scalped 166 wickets in 131 matches. He averages 21.83 and has maintained an economy of 7.61. Only Dwayne Bravo (183) and Lasith Malinga (170) rank above him. He is tied alongside Amit Mishra at present. The likes of Piyush Chawla and Ashwin trail Chahal, having claimed 157 wickets each.
Chahal was on a roll in IPL 2022. He was a major contributor to runners-up Rajasthan Royals' successful campaign. He won the Purple Cap, having finished with 27 wickets at an incredible average of 19.51. The wrist-spinner now has the most wickets in an IPL season by a spinner. Former CSK leg-spinner Imran Tahir held the record earlier (26 wickets in IPL 2016).
In spite of accolades in white-ball cricket, Chahal hasn't had much dominance at the FC level. He has claimed 84 scalps across 31 matches. He averages 33.21 and has two five-fors to his name. Chahal, who plays for Haryana at the domestic level, last played in the Ranji Trophy in December 2018. He concluded with figures worth 3/107 versus Rajasthan.