Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav © AFP
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav © AFP

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav played a vital role in India’s victory in the ODI series in South Africa that India won 5-1. The South African batsmen were finding it hard to read the spinners giving away their wicket. With India touring England soon, the 2019 World Cup in sight, and both men being among top contenders for the squad, the spin twins shared their thoughts.

“We have played teams like Sri Lanka and Australia in past one year and won matches throughout the season. It will be my first tour to England, so it’s very important for me as the 2019 World Cup will also be played there. The team going to England this time is certainly the best one,” Chahal told IndiaTV during the show Cricket Ki Baat. 

Kuldeep backed Chahal’s statement, calling the upcoming series important for youngsters: ”As a youngster, you want to do well in every series. England are a very strong team. They are playing good cricket in ODIs and T20Is. It is an opportunity for youngsters like us to do well against them at their home.”

India will be playing 2 T20Is against Ireland before going to England. India are going with a strong bowling line-up that includes Chahal, Kuldeep, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul.

Chahal also spoke about the importance of IPL in Indian cricket: ”As far as spin department is concerned, I and Kuldeep are there along with Sundar. Thanks to the IPL, we have a good bench strength now; if one player is not available for a match, we have his replacement.”

Kuldeep echoed his thoughts: “IPL is the toughest league and if you wish to survive in that standard then you will always have to remain on the top. IPL provides a youngster a platform to hon his skills and play alongside the best of the world cricketers.”

When it comes to handling the spinners it seems like MS Dhoni surely puts on his captaincy hat. The understanding between him and the spinners is excellent and the result speaks about it. Chahal credits half of their success to Dhoni: ”MS Dhoni does 50 per cent of our work from behind the stumps. When we come to bowl, he gives us all the important inputs related to the wicket and weak areas of a batsman.”

Kuldeep, on the other hand, revealed about the way Dhoni and Virat Kohli back them. ”Both Kohli and Dhoni back spinners in the team. Even when we concede 10-15 runs in an over, they don’t put pressure on us. Wickets are more important for them, so they keep their faith in us.”

What is Chahal’s take on Kuldeep? “If I bowl before him, I explain to him the condition of the wicket. He does the same; he tells me a batsman’s weak areas if he bowls to him before me. We are successful because we have a good bonding with each other. We support each other, and we know if one concedes runs, the other can stop them from the other end.”

What about Kuldeep? “In ODIs, the middle-overs are very important. If your fast bowlers are bowling 10-15 overs and claiming a few wickets, then the next 15 to 30-35 overs becomes very crucial. As a pair, if we claim four wickets in those overs, the opposite team comes on the back foot. We talk a lot and have fun with each other, both on and off-field.”

The England tour starts with 3-T20I series starting July 3 and ends with Test series. The last Test is scheduled to start September 7.