Yuzvendra Chahal Spins a Web Around the Aussies as Records Tumble
Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal sent a strong message to the Indian dressing room on his return to the side with a career-best scalp of 6/42 against Australia in the third ODI in Melbourne on Friday, 18 January.
Chahal, who is playing his first match of the tour, was included in the side for the series decider after the team management decided to rest Kuldeep Yadav, the other spinner in the side.
This was Chahal’s best performance with the white ball, finishing with 6/42 in his allotted 10 overs at an economy of 4.20. His previous best was 5/22 against South Africa at the Supersport Park in Centurion in February 2018. This is only the second time Chahal has finished with five or more wickets in an innings.
With his six-wicket haul, Chahal not only justified his selection into the side but also broke a flurry of records with ball.
- With his performance on Friday, Chahal now has the joint-best bowling figures in ODIs in Australia along with Ajit Agarkar, who also finished with 6/42 in 9.3 overs against Australia in Melbourne in January 2004.
- Chahal now has the sixth-best bowling figures by an Indian in ODIs. The list is topped by Stuart Binny for his 6/4 against Bangladesh in 2014. Chahal’s teammate and fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav is fourth on the list with 6/25 against England.
- Chahal’s 6/42 is also the best bowling figure by a spinner in Australia against Australia in ODIs. The record was earlier held by the current coach of the Indian side Ravi Shastri. Ravi finished with 5/15 against Australia in the Benson & Hedges World Series at Perth in 1991.
- After Imran Tahir, Chahal is only the second spinner to pick up a fifer in both Australia and South Africa.
Chahal started his act as early as in his first over. In the 24th over, Chahal dismissed both Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja. After rebuilding the Australian innings following quick dismissal of both the openers, Marsh (39) and Khawaja (34) fell in quick succession.
Chahal successfully foxed Marsh who gave him a charge. The leggie was smart enough to toss the ball down leg and wicket keeper MS Dhoni did the rest.
In case of Khawaja, a leg-break on the leg stump did the job for Chahal as Khawaja ended up giving a leading edge to the slip.
Six overs later Chahal dismissed Stoinis (10). A slow, flighted delivery on leg stump, turned big, as Stoinis got a thick edge before Rohit Sharma completed an excellent one-handed catch in the slips.
Chahal’s next victim was Richardson (16), who miscued a flick only to be caught by Kedar Jadhav at short mid-wicket. Richardson was his first wicket in his second spell.
In the 46th over, Chahal was successful in trapping Handscomb (58) with a straighter one that missed an inside edge to strike the front pad. Handscomb was the last of the recognised Australian batsman and was only to stick around for his 58.
Adam Zampa (8) was the last one of Chahal’s victims. While trying to hit Chahal down the ground in the 48th over, Zampa miscued a fat top-edge to be caught by debutant Vijay Shankar at long-on.