Virat Kohli (left) and Yuzvendra Chahal (Image courtesy: AFP)
Virat Kohli (left) and Yuzvendra Chahal (Image courtesy: AFP)

Yuzvendra Chahal is having his moment under the sun. He has climbed to the No.2 spot in the ICC T20I Bowlers’ Rankings. His three-wicket haul in the final of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 proved instrumental in India clinching the title. Earlier, he bowled brilliantly in the ODIs in South Africa. In fact, Chahal is now the third highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is.

Chahal is also incredibly fit and a very good fielder. He has spent a lot of time in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camp with Virat Kohli but unlike his skipper, he won’t be giving up chhole kulche.

“I love eating chhole kulche. There is a joint near my house in Lajpat Nagar that serves awesome chhole kulche. Whenever I am free, I hit that joint. Now I can’t step out of my car but I ask my friends to fetch it and I eat it in the car,” Chahal told The Times of India.

Virat Kohli to play for Surrey ahead of England tour; to miss Afghanistan Test
Virat Kohli to play for Surrey ahead of England tour; to miss Afghanistan Test

Kohli has set unbelievable benchmark for fitness. So, does junk eating find a place in Indian cricket?

“There is a misconception about how Virat Kohli looks at diet and fitness. I eat everything. Anyway, my body doesn’t absorb much fat. Virat never says everyone has to follow the same regime he does. All he says is to make sure you remain fit, keeping longevity and efficiency in mind. How long you can sustain yourself is all that he stresses on,” Chahal adds.

‘Credit to new-ball bowlers’

Chahal has been phenomenal with the white ball in subcontinent but performing in lesser friendly conditions in South Africa was very satisfying. Chahal, along with fellow wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed 33 wickets in the ODI series. However, Chahal credited new-ball bowlers for the success.

“People tend to ignore the job done by the new-ball bowlers. The first 10 overs bowled by Bhuvneshwar [Kumar] and [Jasprit] Bumrah created the pressure. Yes, Kuldeep and I got a lot of wickets. But it was about creating that pressure. Both of us had to ensure we maintained the pressure,” Chahal said.

Chahal has exceptional numbers with the white ball but he is still to prove himself in First-Class cricket. He comes third in the ladder in the spin department for his state side Haryana after Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav. Averaging almost 34 from 27 First-Class games, Test cricket is still a far-fetched dream for the leg-spinner. Is he eyeing the whites or focusing on the 2019 World Cup. Chahal gave a more practical answer, “You need different skills to be a Test bowler. It is more about patience and different lengths. I do work towards it. As for the World Cup, I can’t be thinking about something that will happen in mid-2019. Playing for RCB in the IPL is a priority for me.”

RCB will play their first match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on April 8.