Chahal: "Plan was to bowl as many dots as possible"

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal revealed that between him and Kuldeep Yadav, the plan was to bowl as many dot balls as possible to push the asking-rate beyond Afghanistan's reach.

Chahal: "It was a very good catch (to dismiss Rahmat Shah of  Jasprit Bumrah) because people don't think I can catch like this."   -  getty images

A thin frame, a wheeling arm that delivers leg-spin, an eager-beaver attitude in the field and some smart one-liners in the social media posts he does for the Indian team, distinguish Yuzvendra Chahal as a cricketer of many parts.

After playing a crucial role (two wickets and two catches) in India’s nerve-wracking victory over Afghanistan in a World Cup game at the Hampshire Bowl here on Saturday, the Indian spinner spoke to the media at the ICC mixed zone.

As it happened| Scorecard

Excerpts

A swirling catch

It was a very good catch (to dismiss Rahmat Shah of  Jasprit Bumrah) because people don't think I can catch like this. I judged the ball, we were pumped up, it's the World Cup and we can't have many errors. I was like okay, let's go with the flow and I adjusted. It was a little windy, I had to adjust and get under the ball to catch it.

A game of small margins

It obviously helps. Sometimes our team scores 340 to 350 but when you win games with just 240 or 230, you become more confident and you believe that our bowlers can defend this. The positives include the way Kedar (Jadhav) batted and it was not an easy pitch. We knew if we put more pressure on Afghanistan, there would be a chance.

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Dot balls and pressure

My aim was to bowl as many dot balls as possible and increase the required run-rate. Later with the old ball, it was gripping a bit, so I was doing some pace-variations. There was a chance that they could get some quick runs if I went for wickets and then they would avoid the pressure. So, Kuldeep (Yadav) and I planned about bowling dot balls in the early overs. If we could take the required run-rate to above six per over, then we had bowlers like (Mohammed) Shami and Bumrah, to strike.