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Mushtaq Ahmed: Yuzvendra Chahal is a very good bowler, but can use crease better

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed termed India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal a "very good spinner" but added that he can "use the crease better". "He can go wide of the crease at times. You got to be smart enough to understand pitches," Mushtaq added.


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Both India and Pakistan have produced great spin bowlers over the years, who have done well in international cricket. India’s famous spin quartet of Chandrasekhar, Bedi, Prasanna, and Venkataraghavan was followed by the likes of Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and now Ravichandran Ashwin. Similarly, for Pakistan, the likes of Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Saqlain Mushtaq created a niche for themselves.

In limited-overs cricket, India went in for the finger spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav after the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and it led to a period of huge success for them as both the spinner worked in tandem and picked up a bagful of wickets in the middle overs.

Pakistan great Mushtaq Ahmed feels the spinners have been used really well by Indian captains MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

“India has become a force to reckon with in all three formats as it uses its bowlers really well. Dhoni was a master at getting the best out of his bowlers in limited-overs cricket and now you have Virat Kohli,” Ahmed told PTI during an interview.

Speaking about the leg spinner Chahal, Mushtaq said he needs to use the crease better, adapt to different kinds of surfaces, and out-think the batsmen.

“Chahal is a very good bowler but can use the crease much better. He can go wide of the crease at times. You got to be smart enough to understand pitches. If it is a flat pitch, you can bowl stump to stump.

“You have got to be one step ahead of the batsman. You should know your field position as per the batsman’s strength. I always say attack with fielders, not with the ball. If you understand that theory, you will always be successful.

“If the ball is gripping, you can go wide of the crease because you can trouble even the best of batsmen with that angle. That way your googly also doesn’t turn as much as the batsman expects and you end up taking a wicket,” the 49-year-old, who played 52 Tests and 144 ODIs, said.

Chahal currently has 91 wickets in 52 ODIs and is in the running to break Mohammed Shami’s record (56 matches) of being the fastest Indian to the 100-wicket mark in the 50-over format. He is equally sharp in T20Is, having picked 55 wickets in 42 matches.

He picked Chahal, Pakistan’s Shadab Khan, and Australia’s Adam Zampa as the best leggies in the business in white-ball cricket currently.

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