India has found a world-class wrist-spinner in limited-overs Cricket in the form of Yuzvendra Chahal. The Haryana spinner came into the reckoning after featuring in the sidelines at the Mumbai Indians (MI) camp and then displayed his prowesses for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
After India’s struggle to find wicket-taking options during the middle overs, due to the finger-spinning options of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the famous wrist-spinning duo of ‘Kulcha’ upset many batting lineups.
Not many are aware that Chahal, before opting Cricket, was champion player of Chess and also represented India at the World Youth Chess Championship.
Chahal has recently opened up to why he had to prioritize Cricket over Chess and the troubles of balancing the two games.
The 29-year old Indian international made his revelations to former Tamil Nadu stalwart Subramaniam Badrinath on a Star Sports show.
“I played my first nationals of Chess in 1998, and at that time I was playing Cricket as well. You can’t play both sports at the same time. For Chess, you need 10 – 12 hours of training and then 6 – 8 hours for Cricket was getting very difficult. So, when I came back from the World Cup, I told my father I will focus only on Cricket,” Chahal stated on Mind Masters by Mfore.
Reportedly, struggling to find sponsors while playing Chess might have also affected his decision to pursue Chess.
Later during the conversation, the wily leg-spinner talked about the similarities between Chess and Cricket, regarding the amount of patience required.
“In Chess, you require a lot of patience as every match is about 6 – 7 hours and you’re playing sitting at one place without speaking much. Similarly, in Cricket you sometimes bowl so well but don’t get wickets. So, you have to be patient and keep it in your mind that you are bowling well and you’ll probably get wickets in the next spell,” concluded Chahal.
As they say, one man’s loss is another man’s gain, Chahal quitting Chess has earned Indian Cricket a much-needed wrist spinner in white-ball format.