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It's unbelievable: Kohli on Chahal-Yadav spin web

February 08, 2018 11:55 IST

‘It's outstanding to see two guys just totally spinning a web around the opposition’

Yuzvendra Chahal

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, celebrates the wicket of Khayelihle Zondo of South Africa. Photograph: BCCI

India skipper Virat Kohli says wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been simply ‘unbelievable’ in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa but remained non-committal on whether they will become Test regulars anytime soon.


Chahal and Yadav have combined for 21 wickets in the first three ODIs of the ongoing six-match series. The South Africans have conceded that they have yet to get a hang of the duo, which has tormented the hosts continuously.

As far as the Test format goes, Yadav made his debut in the longest version last year against Australia and has appeared in a couple of matches so far. Chahal, on the other hand, is yet to get a call-up in the five-dayers.

"We knew they would pick up wickets because these guys have bowled in flatter batting tracks at home. Some might think they have bowled in T20 cricket when the conditions are very difficult and they have picked up wickets on a regular basis there as well," Kohli said after a 124-run win in the third ODI on Wednesday.

India have taken an unprecedented 3-0 lead in the series, which moves to Johannesburg for the fourth ODI on Saturday.

When asked about the wrist spinners' chances of playing Test cricket, Kohli replied, "Those are things that are quite a bit away from now. Look they are obviously making a very strong case for themselves, bowling in these conditions and making breakthroughs like we haven't seen before."

"It's outstanding to see two guys just totally spinning a web around the opposition. There doesn't seem to be a way out at all. It's unbelievable. Taking eight wickets today - outstanding."

Kohli said the duo has been brave in going after wickets even at the risk of conceding a few runs.

"I don't have words to explain this. Credit to them. Both are very brave in terms of how they bowl and the kind of fields they want as well. They are very brave tossing the ball and asking the batsman to come out and play a risky shot.

"Hats off to them but the other debate is a bit away from now. You never know what happens in the future but I am really happy at the moment," he added.

Elaborating on just what is working for Chahal and Yadav in South Africa, Kohli said the conditions have been nearly perfect for the duo.

"They feel at the top of their game when they have the pitches supporting them even a little bit. They are brave and even on flatter pitches, wrist spinners will also come into play," he explained.

"They might go for six an over, we knew that but they will pick up 3-4 wickets between them. They have done outstandingly well in the last two games picking up a majority of the wickets in both games and being the difference between both sides," said the skipper.

Kohli said the brief for Chahal and Yadav is quite simple, go for wickets and not worry about the runs.

"They are told to go for wickets at all times. When you are going for wickets you are bowling in areas that are uncomfortable for the batsmen and more often than not they end up defending. So I think all the credit has to go to them because they've executed those lines and lengths perfectly," he said.

"They've always, every over they've asked two-three questions of the batsmen, that is something outstanding. I haven't seen that before. Every over they might pick up two wickets, that's the kind of belief they have in their abilities and the team has a belief in them," he added.

Kohli said both the bowlers will be crucial to India keeping in mind next year's World Cup.

"They might get hit for 70-odd in the next game. But there is no problem in that because you know that if they bowl attacking lines then they will end up picking 2-3 wickets every game. We are going to play the World Cup away from home, that I think is going to be the massive factor for us," he said.

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