Former Indian bowler Ashish Nehra lauded the efforts of Yuzvendra Chahal in the third T20I between India and South Africa in Vishakapatnam on June 14. The leg-spinner was adjudged Player of the Match for his spell of 3-20 in four overs.
Coming on the back of a couple of lackluster outings, Chahal made full use of the conditions on offer. Having been introduced in the powerplay, the 31-year-old bowled a tight over, conceding only two runs. He claimed a wicket in each of his remaining overs to dismantle the Proteas middle-order.
Opining that Chahal was back to his aggressive best, Ashish Nehra said on Cricbuzz:
“Only a few times we have seen Harshal Patel bowl in the powerplay for RCB. This time he conceded a bit but picked up a wicket as well. The aggressive Chahal was on show today, the one we know. He varied his length and pace very well today. After the last match, Chahal must have thought that he was a little defensive.”
Conceding 65 runs off 6.1 overs in the first two matches of the series, Chahal was far from his best. He was reduced to bowling outside the off-stump without flight to solely restrict the run flow rather than looking for wickets.
Noting that the spinner foxed the batters with the use of flight in tonight’s encounter, Nehra said:
“Chahal had completely trapped the batters with his flight. He completely took the middle order apart by himself and by the time he was done with his first three overs, the match was well out of South Africa’s grasp.”
A 48-run win in the third T20I kept India alive in the five-match series. This also marks the Men In Blue’s first win over South Africa in eight attempts across all formats this year.
“Chahal and India ticked most of the boxes, especially in the second innings” – Ashish Nehra
After being put in to bat first once again by Temba Bavuma, the Indian opening pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad put up a formidable stand. However, the side stuttered in the second half of the innings to end with 179 on board.
The Indian bowling unit never allowed the Proteas batters to settle with wickets at regular intervals. The visitors were eventually bundled out for 131 in the final over of the contest.
Claiming that the win would do India a world of good heading into the last two matches, Nehra said:
“Chahal and India ticked most of the boxes, especially in the second innings. So, they will definitely take confidence from this match. While we all know what Chahal is capable of, the fact is he missed the squad for the World Cup last time.”
“Despite being an experienced player, he would love a good performance to boost his confidence. Similarly, Pandya, Rututaj and Kishan have runs under their belt. So, we will definitely see India putting pressure on South Africa in the next match.”
India will take on South Africa in the fourth T20I of the series in Rajkot on June 17 (Friday).