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Sparkling ‘Jodi’: Is There Any Stopping India’s Wrist Spin Duo?

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Eight wickets and just 42 runs conceded read the tally of India’s spin delights Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav against South Africa in the second ODI at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. The talk of the town is the sparkling pair is slowly progressing as the best bowling partnership in world cricket.
Their wrist spin bamboozled the Proteas batsmen as India took a unprecedented 2-0 lead in the six-match ODI series. South Africa were shot down in a hurry by Chahal and Kuldeep to hand India a supreme nine-wicket victory. It was one of the best spin bowling in recent times by any top team away from home.

Kuldeep and Chahal have made South Africa seem like their own backyard as they happily seem to go and decimate their opponents. Chahal bowled like a magician on the day picking 5/22 and did not give the hosts any room to breathe. His partner Kuldeep did not hold back either and notched 3/20 leaving South Africa all over the place to be all out for 118 runs.
ALSO READ: Ton-up Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane See India Win 1st ODI Against Proteas
India chased down the target emphatically in just 19.2 overs and everything happened rather quickly on a day to forget for Aiden Markram, who captained the side in the absence of the injured Faf du Plessis.
Chahal, the 27-year-old leg-spinner kept the South Africans on tenterhooks with his pace, which was much slower than the batsmen would have anticipated. He had Quinton de Kock first up and that opened up the floodgates. His other victims were Khaya Zondo, Chris Morris and Morne Morkel besides JP Duminy. All failed to fathom if the ball would turn away or come in or stay straight. It was deception of highest order.

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  1. Chahal & Kuldeep have picked 13 wickets between them in 2 ODIs against SA
  2. The 118 runs total was the Proteas’ lowest ever ODI score at home
  3. This (5/22) was Chahal’s best ever figures in an ODI match

Prior to the series it was discussed on how the wrist spin duo would adapt in pace friendly conditions in South Africa. Also given that it is their first ever major assignment outside the sub-continent. So far the duo have exceeded expectations and are slowly growing in stature as the next big thing in limited overs cricket.
The manner in the way both Chahal and Kuldeep are progressing on a quick basis, Virat Kohli’s side is looking to build a foundation for next year’s ICC World Cup. One may see both playing on a regular basis even away from home given their heroics against the Proteas.
India do not seem to miss senior pros Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the shorter formats anymore. And in the manner that Chahal and Kuldeep are surging forward, their predecessors may now never get a look in coloured clothing for India. The days of the wrist spin are in and it has been a successful journey for both these players since their debuts in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Their energy and intensity needs to get a special mention especially at a time when cricket series are on the rise. What pleases most is the team looks in safe hands with the duo showing all the nerves to handle big games.
The 27-year-old Chahal made his ODI and T20I debut in 2016 and since then has featured consistently up till now. Meanwhile, Kuldeep entered the fray last year and he too has gone on to feature heavily. The duo have taken 62 wickets between them since their debut for India not so long ago.
Chahal: Matches 19, Wickets 34, Best 5/22, Economy 4.56
Kuldeep: Matches 16, Wickets 28, Best 3/20, Economy 4.69
After a superb show at home against the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, this sparkling showcase of attacking with the ball and getting plethora of wickets was a spectacle in the making. Skipper Kohli has backed the duo and there is a sense of a true partnership and understanding with his go to bowlers, that are earning the trust bestowed upon them.

And what is really promising for Chahal and Kuldeep was Ashwin’s noteworthy comment on their achievements that is definitely the best spin bowling performance one witnessed by any Indian against South Africa at their own backyard. Former legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh too joined in ushering praise.

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