Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, one is a china man & other is a leg spinner. The duo with their spin tricks have made the opposition dance to their tune.

From the 1960s, India have always had a strong spin bowling department thanks to the likes of Bishan Singh Bedi, BS Chandrasekhar, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Today, India are a feared team in Tests because of a lethal spin bowling department in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

However, in the limited overs format, India’s spin bowling department consists of two young wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both spinners have performed brilliantly for India in the past couple of months and have so far created a dilemma for the selectors so as whom to choose in the ODI setup? Yadav and Chahal or Ashwin and Jadeja.

Tracing the journey of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal over the years

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The Magical spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. (Source ToI)

Early Years of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal was born in Jind district of Haryana in 1990 and Kuldeep Yadav was born in Kanpur in 1994. Since his childhood days, Chahal was playing cricket and chess. As a matter of fact, Chahal was an U-12 national chess champion and represented India at the Asian and World Youth Championships. His name is even mentioned in the official website of the World Chess Federation.

Kuldeep Yadav began playing cricket at a very young age and began as a seam bowler. He excelled in his studies but his father wanted him to pursue cricket. His coach advised him to switch to spin bowling and Yadav made the switch.

However, despite working immensely, a 13-year old Kuldeep was not selected in Uttar Pradesh’s U15 team. At this time, he contemplated suicide but luckily, didn’t commit it although he vowed not to play the sport again. Nevertheless, he did not stop playing cricket and was excelling at the state level.

Budding years at the IPL and domestic cricket for Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal

Chahal began playing domestic cricket for Haryana in 2009 and was called up to the Mumbai Indians team for IPL 2011. He did not play any matches in the IPL but played every match of that year’s Champions League Twenty20, picking up three wickets at an economy rate of 6.77. Chahal bowled a brilliant spell of 2/9 in three overs during the final against Royal Challengers Bangalore which Mumbai Indians won by 31 runs.

In 2012, Kuldeep Yadav joined Mumbai Indians for that year’s IPL. However, neither of Yadav or Chahal could get a game in the tournament. In 2013, Yadav was not retained by the Mumbai Indians but Chahal was. He finally made his IPL debut but it wasn’t a memorable one as he went for 34 runs from his four overs.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – Excelling in IPL and youth cricket

In 2014, Kuldeep Yadav was called up to the Indian U-19 team and was selected to play in the U19 World Cup. He was brilliant throughout the tournament as he was the joint second highest wicket-taker along with Kagiso Rabada with 14 wickets at an impressive average of 16.42 and at an economy rate of 4.14. He took a hat-trick against Scotland. However, India were knocked out in the quarter-finals against England where Yadav took 3/46. India eventually ended the competition in 5th place by defeating West Indies in the 5th place play-off.

In IPL 2014, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal signed for the Kolkata Knight Riders wand Royal Challengers respectively  for his base price of 10 lakh. However, Kuldeep didn’t play a single game. In RCB’s tournament opener against Delhi Daredevils, Chahal bowled an economical spell of 1/18 from his four overs. This earned him the Man of the Match award. While Kuldeep played no matches at the tournament, Chahal played all of RCB’s matches and ended the tournament as their 3rd highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets, 17th overall.

In the 2014 Champions League Twenty20, Kuldeep Yadav played all of KKR’s matches and was their second highest wicket-taker of the competition with 6 wickets at an economy of 7.50. His best performance in the tournament came against Perth Scorchers where he took 3 wickets for 24 runs from his four overs. He was eventually adjudged the Man of the Match. Yadav’s performance in the CLT20 earned him his Ranji Trophy debut for Uttar Pradesh.

The UP boy Kuldeep was chosen in India’s squad for their series against West Indies in October 2014. However, he did not play a single match.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal take baby steps with the national team

Kuldeep couldn’t play a single game in IPL 2015 but the tournament was hugely successful for Chahal. He was very expensive with the ball but he still came up with the wickets as he ended the tournament as the 3rd highest wicket-taker with 23 wickets.

Kuldeep Yadav finally made his IPL debut in 2016 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians where he took 1/37 from his four overs. Mitchell McClenaghan was his first IPL scalp. Yadav played another two matches in the tournament and picked up 2 and 3 wickets respectively. In the eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yadav took 3/35 from his four overs. He ended the tournament with 6 wickets.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal after a positive IPL stint ensured the national team call up.

For Chahal, it was another successful tournament as he was the second highest wicket-taker of the competition with 21 wickets. Chahal’s performances earned him a call-up to the Indian team for the Tour of Zimbabwe. Chahal was brilliant during the ODI series as he picked up 6 wicket in three matches at an average of 12.83 and at an impressive economy of 3.21.

During the T20 series, Chahal picked up a wicket in each of the three matches, ending the series with an economy rate of 7.42.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal deliver Impressive performance with the Indian team

In January, Chahal was named in India’s T20 squad against England. He bowled a decent spell of 2/27 at Kanpur in the first T20 which was followed by a spell of 0/33 in the second T20 at Nagpur. In the final T20 at Bengaluru, Chahal became the first Indian to take a five-wicket haul in T20Is by picking 6 wickets for 25 runs. He was adjudged the Man of the Match and this remains to be the third-best bowling spell in T20 internationals.

Kuldeep Yadav was named in India’s one-off test against Bangaldesh in February, 2017 but did not play. He was also named in the squad to play against Australia in March. He made his Test debut at Dharamsala during the final Test and bowled an impressive spell of 4/68.

Kuldeep was named in India’s ODI and T20 squads which toured West Indies right after the Champions Trophy. He had a very good ODI debut at Port of Spain as he took 3/50 from 9 overs. Next the china man followed this with an even better spell of 3/41 from 10 overs at North Sound. Yadav played one T20 and took 1/34 on his T20I debut.

Kuldeep Yadav was named in the Test team to tour Sri Lanka and played the third Test at Pallekele, bowling a spell of 4/40 in the first innings followed by 1/56 in the second innings. Both Yadav and Chahal were named in the ODI and T20 teams. Yadav took three wickets in two matches while Chahal took five wickets in four matches. In the one-off T20, Yadav took 2/20 from his four overs while Chahal took 3/43 from his four overs.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have a memorable Australia series

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Kuldeep Yadav celebrates his hat-trick during the 2nd Odi between India and Australia at Eden Gardens Kolkata.        (Source Indian Express)

The ODI and T20 series against Australia was a memorable one for both Yadav and Chahal. In the first ODI at Chennai, Yadav took 2/33 from four overs while Chahal took 3/30 from five overs. In the second ODI at Kolkata, Kuldeep Yadav became only the third Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs. The first two are Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev. He took 3/54 from his 10 overs while Chahal took 2/34 from his 10 overs.

In the third ODI at Indore, Yadav was a bit expensive. He took two wickets for 75 runs from his 10 overs. Chahal took a wicket from his 10 overs and conceded 54 runs. Both went wicket-less in the fourth ODI and did not play the final ODI. In the first T20 at Ranchi, Yadav tool 2/16 from his four overs. For this performance  he was adjudged the Man of the Match. Chahal took 1/23 from his 4 overs. Both were extremely expensive in the second T20 at Guwahati.

During the ODI series against New Zealand, Yadav took 1/64 in the only ODI he played. Chahal took four wickets in the two ODIs he played. In the T20 series against New Zealand, both Yadav and Chahal took a wicket from one and two matches respectively.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been producing impressive performances for the Indian team lately. Their performances have made it hard for the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja to cement their places in the limited overs setup. Provided Yadav and Chahal continue their good performances, they might as well be heading to England for the World Cup in 2019.

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Reading, Writing and indulging in sports activities have been Neel's passion since he was a child. He grew up playing various sports and knew that it was something he wanted to stay in touch with. After completing his graduation, he narrowed his focus on writing. In his leisure time, he likes to read books and chill with his dog.

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