Chahal: RCB has more options with Washington

Royal Challengers Bangalore's new spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar are keen to continue their good form into the IPL season.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar during the Royal Challengers Bangalore training session.   -  K. Murali Kumar



After a successful association in the Nidahas Trophy T20 series in Sri Lanka, the spin-bowling pair of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal will join forces again in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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The two, part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad, finished with eight wickets each in the island nation, to emerge joint-top wicket-takers even as Washington was adjudged the Player-of-the-tournament.

“We both add a lot to the team,” said Washington here on Tuesday. “I’m an off-spinner and he’s a leg-spinner and it is a very good combination provided we bowl well in tandem. I hope we continue to do that with RCB as well.”

Washington key to RCB's plans

In Sri Lanka, Washington bowled nearly two-thirds of his overs in the PowerPlay at an economy rate of just 5.7. This ability of his – notwithstanding the fact that he will encounter superior batsmen in the IPL – would give the team an additional dimension, felt Chahal.

“I feel we have more options now,” the leggie said. “In earlier seasons, I used to bowl in the PowerPlay and would just be left with two overs afterwards. Now, we have one more [bowler] and that helps.”

In fact, bowling in the first six overs under intense pressure has gone a long way towards the making of the successful bowler that Chahal is now. Virat Kohli, despite the short boundaries at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, repeatedly used Chahal as an attacking option and the spinner thrived, as the 23 and 21 wickets in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, respectively, show.

“It is a challenge, especially on this ground,” said Washington. “But, it’s also exciting. It will give you a lot of happiness and satisfaction if you succeed here. A lot of people have been inspired by Virat Kohli. This is a very good opportunity to learn from him.”

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To achieve that, Washington is quite happy to continue with his uncomplicated ways.

Chahal up for flat wickets

“When you have a mystery ball, you have an advantage,” he said. “But, when you don’t, you need to stick to your strengths. It’s important to bluff the batsman. Flighting the ball in this format is very difficult so when you’re trying it, you should be absolutely sure of being able to execute it. That’s what I try to do.”

The conditions though may pose an obstacle or two. After a year of uncharacteristically low totals, the Bengaluru surface is expected to return to its run-filled days. But, Chahal is up for the test.

“I don't mind the flat wickets,” he said. “Last year, the pitches were totally different. But, now they seem much better. We can expect a couple of 200-plus totals and our batsmen will also have a great chance.”

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