Much credit for maintaining India's unbeaten run goes to the bowling unit, who have been outstanding in the tournament. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, has contributed with his consistent showing with the ball amongst a skillful pool of Indian bowlers and his confidence has been rewarded by the team management.
India has been invincible in the six-nation tournament after it defeated Pakistan twice in the gap of four days, and also notched up wins against minnows Hong Kong and Bangladesh. Chahal reveals the mood in the Indian dressing room given the team's current run of form.
“We were positive from the start, because the first match against Hong Kong was tough. Next we were playing Pakistan after a long time, the atmosphere was good. We haven’t lost a match in this tournament, especially winning two matches against Pakistan will give us a boost ahead of the final,” Chahal said.
This was the first time Chahal had played against Pakistan and when asked about how the experience was, he said: “Generally cricketers have a bucket list, where you hope to play Pakistan one day but when we played them, it didn’t feel that we were playing Pakistan, it seemed it's our own team only.
“When you go to the ground, it doesn’t matter if you are playing Pakistan or England. It is all about being mentally strong and how much pressure you can deal with.”
While India dominated Pakistan both with the bat and the ball in both games, but Chahal said it was just a case of a team having a bad day at the office for its arch-rival. “Our batsmen put their bowlers under pressure from the start. They are playing the new ball well, they are taking their time and partnership are getting longer,” he said.
With India already booked their place in the finals, the Men in Blue will now face Afghanistan, in what will be a formality of sorts. However, India cannot afford to be complacent as the match serves as great preparation ahead of the final. With all-rounder Rashid Khan at the helm, it won't be easy as it seems for Inda.
Speaking about Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, Chahal said: “I haven’t met Rashid a lot. But I watch him whenever I get a chance. He is one of my favourites. He is one bowler who hasn’t gone for much runs in the matches that he has played. So bowlers have to think when they face him. I follow his attitude, whenever I get a chance, we speak about leg-spin.”