Colombo, July 26 | India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who on Sunday night kept the Sri Lankan innings in check in the middle-overs, has kept his place in the Indian team intact even as Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, with whom he had helped India win matches in the past, has faded away.
The 31-year-old, who took one for 19 in four overs, has however not been in the best of form in recent times for India but was happy as he managed to do the job he was known for — control the opposition in middle overs.
“My job is to control the middle-overs and I was very happy I did that and I just backed myself. There has been nothing on my mind. I back myself to control middle overs. That is all,” said Chahal to the media during a virtual interaction on Sunday night.
Chahal said that the emergence of spin bowling options doesn’t worry him as India finalise their final squad for the T20 World Cup. India are carrying as many as six spinners to Sri Lanka. One of those, Varun Chakravarthy, made his international debut on Sunday.
“If the bench strength is so good, and you have a strong players’ pool, the quality comes. If you talk of spinners, they are all doing good and you know you have players behind you who are already ready, having performed in IPL and here,” added Chahal.
“My focus is on my performance. Whenever I play, I should perform. If you perform, then only you play. If you don’t perform, whoever it is, you can’t stay in the team. So I mostly don’t think [about competition]. Whatever is in my mind — my goal — I focus on that only,” he said further.
The leggie’s performance dipped in the time leading up to lockdown even though he has been a regular member of the squad.
The way he mesmerised the South Africans during the 2018 tour of that country was past.
“When it was lockdown, I talked to coaches. I didn’t have to focus on much. I just had to focus on line, whether I have to go wider or bowl stump-to-stump, so I sat with [Bharat] Arun sir, Paras [Mhambrey] sir. What am I missing? Then I backed myself,” he added.
“I practiced with Jayant Yadav, we have known each other since childhood, so I spoke to him too. I bowled to him as well. So things started from there. The more I am confident in bowling, the better I will be able to bowl.”