Harbhajan Singh has praised Rajasthan Royals (RR) leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for his brilliant bowling display.

Yuzvendra Chahal is leading the bowling chart in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. The wrist-spinner has been a wave of fresh air for the Rajasthan Royals, who scooped him up in the IPL 2022 mega auction. It was strange to see Chahal being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore and the team not going all out for him in the auction. Until last season, what Chahal gave RCB was consistency and a bundle of wickets every campaign. RCB’s loss seems to be RR’s gain as they revolve around his exploits.

In RR’s match versus Lucknow Super Giants a few days earlier, Chahal raced to 150 IPL scalps. He claimed wickets at key moments and helped his side script a massive win. The IPL has made us witness some of the best bowlers, and Chahal is right up there. In terms of the spin show, a question arises is whether Chahal is the best spinner in IPL history? Here we analyse the same.

150 IPL scalps for Chahal

Chahal is only the sixth bowler to have claimed 150-plus IPL wickets so far. Dwayne Bravo (174), Lasith Malinga (170), Amit Mishra (166), and Piyush Chawla (157) are the ones who rank above Chahal in this list. He is currently tied alongside Harbhajan Singh (150) in terms of wickets in the cash-with league. Chahal, who is averaging 21.34, fares better than Harbhajan (26.86) in the tournament.

Chahal has an average of 21.34. He has taken three four-wicket hauls and has an economy rate of 7.55. His best figures in the tournament are 4/25.

Fastest spinner to claim 150 wickets

Chahal is now the fastest spinner to race to 150 wickets in the tournament. He achieved the mark in 118 innings. The previous record was held by Amit Mishra, who took 140 innings to get there. Piyush Chawla (156) and Harbhajan (159) follow Mishra in this regard. Overall, he is the second-fastest to 150 scalps after Lasith Malinga, who took 105 innings. Earlier, Chahal became the fastest to 100 IPL wickets (83 innings). This record can be broken by Rashid Khan, who can get there in 81 innings.

Consistency and Chahal go hand-in-hand.

Since IPL 2014, Chahal has managed to claim 10-plus wickets every season. His numbers read as 12, 23, 21, 14, 12, 18, 21, 18, and 11*. On five occasions, he has clinched 15-plus wickets to establish his authority. He has bowled at a healthy economy rate as well. Amit Mishra claimed 18-plus scalps only thrice. Bhajji managed the feat twice, and Chawla’s best returns were 17 in 2008. 

Chahal in the IPL 2022 season

Chahal has been superb so far this season, having claimed 11 wickets at just 9.45. He has an economy rate of 6.50. Chahal claimed 3/22 vs SRH, 2/26 vs MI, 2/15 vs RCB and 4/41 vs LSG.

Chahal’s best performance versus teams

Chahal has enjoyed bowling against Punjab Kings. He is one of the three bowlers to have taken 25-plus wickets versus them. He is also set to surpass both Mishra and Chawla in terms of wickets versus MI (25 each) and become the second-highest wicket-taker. 

Conclusion

Players like Mishra, Chawla, Harbhajan, Sunil Narine, and Rashid Khan can be safely presented as the leading spinners the IPL witnessed alongside Chahal. However, there is no doubt that Chahal has been underrated. His consistency is far better than the others. A leading T20 specialist, Chahal is also among the best bowlers for Team India. He is the most successful spinner for India in T20Is. One thing that has eluded Chahal is the IPL trophy, and if he weaves his magic to help RR come out on top, this would be a fairytale moment. Chahal needs to be lauded for his contributions, and he is a step above the rest.

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