Chahal: No pressure from management, players know their roles

India lost to Bangladesh in the opening match of the three-match T20I series but leggie Chahal is positive to start afresh in Rajkot.

Yuzvendra Chahal is back in the thick of action after being left out for the T20I series against West Indies and South Africa earlier this year.   -  AFP

 

Yuzvendra Chahal was not part of the Indian T20I squads that faced the West Indies and South Africa over the last three months, seemingly left out in favour of Rahul Chahar. But the leg-spinner from Haryana is decidedly back in the scheme of things.

On Sunday, Chahal was in the thick of action as India went down to Bangladesh in the first T20I in Delhi. He finished with 1/24 from his four overs, and those figures could so easily have been much better. Chahal nearly had Mushfiqur Rahim leg-before twice, and then watched as the same batsman was reprieved a third time, Krunal Pandya misjudging a catch on the mid-wicket boundary.

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It was obvious, though, that in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Chahal was his captain's primary weapon in Delhi. As things stand, it would not be a stretch to suggest that he will be the first spin-bowling option on Virat Kohli's mind at next year's T20 World Cup.

Chahal, though, is quick to dismiss the suggestion that he is the leader of this current Indian bowling attack. "It's not like that," he said at the SCA Stadium here on Tuesday. "Among our bowlers, everyone has played 30-40 IPL matches. They have good experience. I have just played extra T20Is compared to them. [In a match,] I can only bowl four overs. There are 16 more overs to be bowled. If the whole team as a unit bowls well, only then we will win. It's not a matter of one person."

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India arrives in Rajkot needing to win Thursday's second T20I to level the series. But there was no pressure on the home side, Chahal insisted. "It's not about pressure, because it's a three-match series. These are not knockout games. We believe in ourselves. We will bounce back. It's not as if we have never lost the first match of any series and then failed to win the series. We have forgotten the first match. We are starting afresh here," he said. This is a relatively inexperienced Indian side, but players did not feel any threat of losing their places after one performance, Chahal stated.

"The players in the 11 and the 15...they know their roles," he said.

"It's not like they are playing one or two matches and going out and coming back in. They are getting chances, getting confidence. One or two matches...everyone has a bad time. There's no pressure from the management's side that you did this or that. The mistake you made in one match, you must not repeat in the next."