Yuzvendra Chahal currently has the purple cap, with 19 wickets in IPL 2016 © IANS
Yuzvendra Chahal currently has the purple cap, with 19 wickets in IPL 2016 © IANS

For years, an Indian player has been judged by his performances in the domestic circuit. Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy — all have been the parameters to measure a player’s capabilities to represent India in Tests, One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) respectively. After a long period of T20 cricket, India is all set to play two back-to-back series, in Zimbabwe and West Indies. However, selectors have picked a player majorly looking at his Indian Premier League (IPL) performances. As India tour Zimbabwe, Yuzvendra Chahal is all set to make his debut in international cricket. READ: Yuzvendra Chahal confirms Royal Challengers Bangalore have overcome their weakness in bowling

If we look at the figures, Chahal’s record in domestic cricket for Haryana have not been as impressive to earn him a national team inclusion. However, what must have worked for him is his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL. As RCB qualify for the playoffs of IPL 2016, defeating Delhi Daredevils (DD), Chahal, bagging three wickets, became the highest wicket-taker of the season with 19 wickets from 14 matches.

The 25-year-old player, though impressed one and all in IPL season after season, has been unlucky as far as domestic performances are concerned. His best figures in First Class cricket is a 5 for 241. The player prominently looks to be a better limited-overs performer. In limited-overs cricket, his best figures is 6 for 22.

The current IPL season has not been fruitful for the RCB bowlers, contrast to what the batting line-up was doing. It looked like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were making it up for the bowlers, who leaked runs and remained inconsistent to bag wickets. One name, in that situation, whom skipper Kohli put his hopes upon, has been Chahal.

Chahal did not start the campaign with a lot of positivity. Earlier this season, the bowler looked to be expensive and got lesser wickets, which led Kohli to drop him for a few matches. Chahal came back strong, with his performance against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Chahal worked on his bowling meanwhile and looked to go cut down on pace, that resulted in conceding lesser runs. The leg-spinner got enough turns on occasions to confuse the batsmen.

Chahal’s wicket counts increased uncannily towards the end of the group stage. Previously a chess player, Chahal attacked the thought process of the batsmen. Varying the length of the ball, Chahal learnt to control the amount of turn letting it with ample room to spin bowling shorter ones. The best of Chahal came in the last few matches, as he picked up 11 wickets in the last four games. What makes the player compatible to play international cricket is his experience of IPL. Playing against world’s best players, Chahal now has earned the ability to face different kinds of batsmen and can now brag of wickets like Brendon McCullum, Andre Russell and MS Dhoni.

At the point when India do not have many promising leg-spinners barring Amit Mishra, it will be interesting to see if Yuzvendra Chahal manages to utilise the chance given and impresses with good spells beyond IPL.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)