Chahal & Kuldeep: The Wolves of Tossing-it-Up Street

In terms of energy burned, meat gained and overall effectiveness of the kill, wolves do best hunting in pairs. We’ve seen quite a lot of lethal examples earlier but the way young Chahal and Kuldeep are keeping the oppositions unchallenged, this is no mercy. Just  a little background. Chahal is the only person to represent India in Chess and Cricket. Chahal is one of only two players in T20 Cricket history to have taken a 6-wicket haul. His wizcraft is totally evident when he holds the white leather in his hands. Kuldeep on the other hand is India’s only Chinaman bowler and is the third bowler for India to take a hat-trick in an ODI after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev.

The Indian wrist-spinning duo has humbled and humiliated the Proteas in their own backyard. I agree, ABD and Faf could have shown some resilience but these new-gen spinning duo would have owned them as well.

There’s a great deal of difference between Chahal-Kuldeep and Ashwin-Jaddu or Kumble-Harbhajan. These two youngsters never look to contain, rather their only focus is to toss it up, play it brave, back their instincts and go for wickets; right from ball one.

Kuldeep-Chahal

 

You’d be astonished to know that these two have just played 9 ODIs together and have already established a reputation of being the best in the business. Not to be politically incorrect, they have literally shown the door to the stalwarts like Ashwin and Jadeja in the blues. People and experts say that it’s the new age rotation policy to keep the squad fit but I don’t seem to agree.

One thing which backs them to be fearless is the faith of Virat Kohli, the skipper. When the captain tells you that you will play every game, irrespective of the runs you leak, a bowler’s confidence reaches the pinnacle of self-belief. Kohli, who himself is all about intensity, aggression and delivering things; has imbibed the same grit in the team. Not to forget Dhoni’s mentoring from behind the stumps. Ball by ball you could see him guiding these wristies. With very little time they have spent with Mahi, they’ve listened to his insights, adapted and executed with great precision. They’ve been quick learners.

Another factor, which has helped them thrive, is the support from the quicks. Bumrah and Bhuvi have always given early break-throughs to the team. So, when these spinners come to bowl, the opposition is always one or two down minimum. They don’t have to start from the scratch; which wasn’t the case earlier.

Numbers don’t lie either. Chahal-Kuldeep duo has grabbed 35 wickets together in 9 games at an applauding strike rate of 24.55 with a meager economy rate of 4.75. Working in tandem and complementing each other is an art, which only a few can cherish. If you look at the strike rates of Ashwin-Jadeja and Kumble- Harbhajan, 40.64 and 46.17 tell a different tale. Yuzdeep duo strikes a wicket after every fourth over whereas the others used to do it around the seventh. It is a huge difference, in terms of the denting the morale.

Chahal is a very street-smart cricketer. He doesn’t change his pace that much — varies it from 85 kmph to 95 kmph. He’s skiddish. Kuldeep on the other hand, relies much on his variations of dip and aerial movement. Flighting the ball and putting right on money i.e. the areas where the batters are uncomfortable playing; is his forte. While most wrist-spinners are quicker through the air, the ability to slow it up and generate more turn even on unresponsive tracks has worked in the favour of India’s new-age heroes.

The wrist spinners have changed the dynamics the way modern day battles are fought. Post 2015, the wrist spinners have killed 81 preys at a strike rate of 27 while finger spinners had to work a lot harder.(58 kills at a strike rate of 52).

Chahal and Kuldeep are the batting equivalents of Sehwag & Sir Viv; where the default mode is set to attack. From Richie Benaud, a pioneer wrist spin, to the magical Shane Warne, the flame of wrist spin has found a wick in every generation and the duo is doing their bit with pride and valour.

They might not have the built and physical power but they have fitness, brains and a true grit by their side; which has even the rattled the South African spine and have left them bamboozled. Which one turns, which goes is a googly, which is the top-spinner, which is the flipper; they absolutely have no fucking clue about it.

These two have assassinated the sense of judgment of the South African Team.  As DiCaprio states, successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny, they’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance, if the circumstances around them suck they change them; these two are calculated and fierce gamblers, who are destined to win; on any pitch and any condition.

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AB de Villiers : The Howard Roark of Cricketing Fraternity

And then he laughed.

Howard Roark, the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s famous novel The Fountainhead, is a brilliant architect of the modern school, whose bold and innovative designs are a matter of fascination for the larger segments of society; draws uncanny resemblances with AB DeVilliers in many ways.

Just like Roark, ABD is fiercely independent and believes in the merit of his revolutionary designs and has the courage to stand for them in the face of an antagonistic society.His 360 degrees sweeps are no less than the Enright House. The impossible !

He is a brilliant thinker and he acts on his thinking. He is true to his values, to his convictions, to his thinking, to his mind, to his self; exactly the way ABD rose to the occasion while playing a gritty match-saving 220 balls-33 runs knock against Australia. Public opinions do not matter to him. He only believes in staying loyal and challenging himself.

Roark is fully committed to the individualistic approach in each of of his designs, and he takes a laborer’s job in a granite quarry rather than compromising on his work. ABD on such lines, once being too carried away in the glitterati of the perks of this cricketing life promised himself to believe in himself and give every inch of his body to this holy game. He has not looked back ever since then. He has not changed his attacking stroke-play, even being fairly criticized at times and is a proud holder of feats such as the fastest 100 & 150 runs in the limited overs format.

You either succumb to his enigmatic charms or call him a technically flawed, over-rated and overly loved player but the former has been the case pretty much. I guess you ought to watch a game in Chinnaswamy to know his cult following. After Sachin and Kohli, he’s the most loved sport star in India. He never craved for any such prestige but his potential to hit such sky-scraping sixes and the agility to induce such vivacity on the field, makes him the winner; exactly how Roark used to do the magic via his drafting sheets.

Roark is undeterred. He’ll design anything from sky-kissing elevations to hotels to temples to gas stations, so long as he can build in his own way. So is ABD.Be it IPL, the Titans -his provincial club, his national team or the street cricket, he gives his 200% in everything and tries to execute a different game plan, with different stroke-play, just to keep himself going. He’s not afraid to experiment, backs himself and delivers. His drafts his excelling stories with his bat.

Howard was a visionary from his initial days and wanted to stay ahead of his time. So like ABD, the way he went on to represent the Proteas and then owning the game with his sheer class,is something astonishing.

Howard Roark and AB DeVilliers represent to me – Ethical Integrity. It’s just a matter of one World Cup trophy , when ABD gifts himself the Wynand Tower, the last, the tallest and the biggest skyscraper of his career and fades in the overlying success of eternal joy and glory.