Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich said the former finalists would want Yuzvvendra Chahal to take up the leading role in their bowling attack in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Katich said the senior-leg spinner is raring to have a go at opposition batsmen and deliver for the team, once again.
Simon Kaich, speaking to Royal Challengers Bangalore website, acknowledged that Chahal did not get a lot of game time during India's tour of Australia and the home series against England but insisted that it could be a blessing in disguise for the leg-spinner who will be relatively fresh for the new IPL season.
Chahal was dropped for the last 2 T20is of a 5-match series against England in Ahmedabad at home after figures of 44/1, 34/1 and 41/1. The leg-spinner warmed the benches during a 3-match ODI series against England last month as India went in with Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya for the spinners' slots in the XI.
However, Katich insisted that RCB will provide a conducive environment for Chahal to be at his aggressive best in IPL 2021. Notably, Chahal ended up as RCB's leading wicket-taker in IPL 2020 which was held in the UAE. With 21 wickets at an economy rate of little over 7, Chahal was the only spinner in the list of top 5 wicket-takers.
'Yuzi is going to be up for it'
"The thing you know about senior players is we know they have got a fight for the contest. We know that with him. He is always buzzing. He is a very skilful bowler and he is also a very smart bowler," Katich said.
"We asked him to be our leading wicket-taker, we got that role for him by balancing the team the way we needed it to. We took a bit of heat off him having to bowl in the powerplay, like he did in the past. He didn't let us down, picking up 21 wickets, he won us a number of games with the ball at critical times.
"There is a high expectation of him. We also know there is support around him with our bowling line-up to be able to allow him play that attacking role.
"Yuzi, he is going to be up for it. Yes, we know, he hasn't played as much cricket as he would have liked but, in a way, after a long season, that might be a blessing in disguise, because we know there are some players that are jaded. I know he will be keen to go out and do well for us," Katich added.
Chahal will be joined by the likes of Washington Sundar, Adam Zampa and Shahbaz Ahmed in the spin-bowling department of RCB. New recruit Glenn Maxwell can also bowl handy off-spin and the Bengaluru-based franchise will be keen on using his services with the ball.
RCB will open their IPL 2021 campaign on the opening day of the tournament - April 9. They take on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.