We have heard of several instances where an international cricketer played other sports during their early stages. Yuzuvendra Chahal is the new entrant to the never ending list. Chahal who burst into the fame with his stellar performance in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore got rewarded on Monday by getting selected in the Indian team for Zimbabwe series.
The leg spinner from Haryana was part of the Indian U16 chess team. He is the only player to represent India in chess and cricket. His name is listed in FIDE’s official site. He had a FIDE rating of 1946.
The skinny leg break bowler’s selection also highlights that the selection for the national team is not based on the performances in domestic cricket only. Chahal, who is set to make his debut in International Cricket, did not boast of an impressive performance in domestic cricket.
He first got noticed when he took 2 for 9 in 3 overs in the Champions League Twenty 20 final against Royal Challengers Bangalore and helped Mumbai Indians lift the title.
However, what must have worked for him is his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL. As RCB qualify for the playoffs of IPL 2016, defeating Delhi Daredevils (DD), Chahal, bagging three wickets, became the highest wicket-taker of the season with 19 wickets from 14 matches.
The 25-year-old player, though impressed one and all in IPL season after season, has been unlucky as far as domestic performances are concerned. His best figures in First Class cricket is a 5 for 241. The player prominently looks to be a better limited-overs performer. In limited-overs cricket, his best figures are 6 for 22.
The fact that he was a chess player helped him attack the thought process of the batsmen. It goes to be seen if he can handle the pressure of international cricket and go on to play for India.