Wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has played a vital role in Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) dominance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
Chahal is the Purple Cap holder with 26 scalps from 14 matches. His average of 16.53 and economy rate of 7.67 have been the most stand-out aspect of his performance.
RR finished the league stage in the second position with 9 wins from 14 outings. The Sanju Samson-led side will now take on table-toppers Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday (May 24).
Ahead of Qualifier 1, Chahal credited his success in IPL 2022 to the closely knit group and added that playing for RR made him feel the legendary Shane Warne, who passed away in March this year due to a suspected heart attack, has been watching him bowl from heaven.
“I know it’s just the first season here (at Royals) for me, but it feels like I’ve been playing here for many years. It’s like a family already. I’m really relaxed here mentally, and I believe the credit goes to the people here, who take really good care of me. It’s not just within the playing team and support staff, but also the management, which is something I really value,” said Chahal in an official release of the franchise.
“The way they respect and love me, it has really made me connect with the franchise at a different level. On the other hand, it’s also special for me because Warne sir played for RR and was the first-ever Royal, and I think his blessings are with me. I feel like he’s been watching me from above,” he added.
During the league stage, Chahal claimed a five-wicket haul (5/40) against KKR, which also included a hat-trick.
Reflecting on the performance, the leg-spinner said it was pretty special as he delivered for the side in a pressure situation.
“I think that match was really special for me because it (the hat-trick) came at a very crucial moment and also happened to be the first-ever hat-trick of my career.”
“It was sweeter as it came during a pressure situation for us where they only needed 40 runs off four overs and Sanju gave me the ball and said, ‘it’s on you now, you can do it’. That actually gave me a lot of confidence and I was just thinking about getting wickets because that was the need of the hour for us. I think moments like these, where you lead your team to victory, are really special,” Chahal stated.
(With IANS inputs)