Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal says he is not unduly bothered by the healthy competition among spinners in the Indian team.
Chahal bowled a frugal spell to contribute to India’s 38-run win in the first T20 International against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.
“When the bench strength is so good – we have a pool of 30 players – and everyone is doing well, my focus is just on performing well,” he said at a press conference after India’s win.
“If you perform well, you stay in the team and if you aren’t, then you cannot stay in the team. I do not look at what others are doing, my focus is on giving good performances,” Chahal said.
“When I was not playing, I was working with my bowling coach and I was working on my craft. Even during the lockdown, I was looking at where I should be bowling. I backed myself before coming on this tour.
Reflecting on the contest, he said, “We knew we were 10-15 runs short, but that is O.K. Whatever the score is, we have to defend that. My job is to control the middle overs and I was very happy that I did it. I always back myself.”
When asked about his conversations with fellow spinner Varun Chakravarthy, Chahal said: “We talked before the match, I told him just to bowl how you do normally. I know the pressure can be there in the first match, it always stays there. I suggested to keep bowling the way he does, nothing changes whether you are playing international cricket or IPL.
Chahal explained his strategy bowling strategy for the contest. “The end from where I was bowling from, the boundary on the leg-side was shorter, and the Sri Lanka batters were looking to hit me on the leg side. So that is why I did not bowl the googly much; I was just looking to bowl dot balls. The total was not that big and we could not afford to concede fours and sixes, hence I kept mixing it up,” Chahal said.
“During the lockdown, I talked to the coach. There was nothing much that I needed to change; I was just looking to think about one line that I need to be bowling more. I discussed it with bowling coach Bharat Arun. The more confident I am in my bowling ability, the better I will bowl,” he added.