India’s spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, aka ‘Kulcha’ had a lot of success playing together. After team India lost the Champions Trophy final, India moved on from Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin and handed over the responsibilities to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
For a few years, grooming for the 2019 World Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav grew as the backbone of India’s spin bowling attack. However, for the last two years, both the cricketers have been struggling with form and haven’t been able to feature together in a game. Both the cricketers have hardly played together for India.
Recently, in an interview with Sports Tak, Yuzvendra Chahal opined that the team combination had to change after Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya got injured and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback in the limited-overs format. He said:
“When I and Kuldeep Yadav were playing, Hardik Pandya was also bowling quite a bit. Then, in 2018, Hardik got injured and Jaddu pa (Ravindra Jadeja) came in as an all-rounder, who can bat at number seven. So, after that, if we had to play an extra bowler, the combination wasn’t working out. Since Jadeja is a spinner, I and Kuldeep couldn’t play together continuously after that,”
Further, Chahal explained how things could have been different had Hardik been replaced by a pace bowler. But as per him, the team’s demands come first. He said:
“If a pacer had come in instead of Hardik, maybe we could have played together. But the team demands come first. We did play half of the games individually. Like out of six games, I played three and Kuldeep played three. But a team is built with 11 players and KulCha wasn’t fitting into it,”
Talking further, Chahal said that the bonding among the current teammates is so strong that he has always felt like an integral part of the team even when he is not playing. He said:
“Even if I am not playing and the team wins, I am equally happy. I played one-dayers in New Zealand last year after six months. But I was confident since I was bowling well in the nets and was traveling with the team as well. I was never made to feel that I was not part of the team even when I was not playing. So all that helps keep your confidence in tact,”