Young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said captain Virat Kohli has always been his biggest motivator on the ground. Chahal, who was India's second-highest wicket-taker in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, praised Kohli's "positive" captaincy and confident approach. "Virat Kohli always remains positive on ground, always confident about his decisions. He will always motivate you even if you are giving runs or if your are not doing well," Chahal told India TV in an exclusive chat from Sri Lanka.
Chahal's association with Kohli goes back a long way and there's nothing surprising about the amount of faith which the captain has in him. Chahal has been an integral part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the IPL for quite a few years now and Kohli, who captains the franchise, understands his strengths and weaknesses.
Kohli also has a special liking for wrist spinners and it was evident during the fifth and the final ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo where the Indian skipper opted to play with two wrist spinners (Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) in the playing XI - a first in India's 922 ODIs. Kohli's preference for wrist spinners is justified too. In an era where picking wickets is becoming more and more difficult on belters, wrist spinners provide just that little advantage over traditional off-spinners and help in deceiving the batsmen more often.
Chahal, who had last represented India in an ODI match in Zimbabwe last year, picked up six wickets in four matches.
"Sri Lanka tour is very important for me because I came back after one year in the ODI team and we won 5-0. I can't express my feeling how happy I am to be a part of the this team," said Chahal, who had also represented India in junior-level chess.
The diminutive Haryana spinner said he was confident of getting purchase from the slow Sri Lankan tracks.
"Sri Lankan pitches are very slow. Before I came here, I bowled on the similar kind of wickets in South Africa and I performed well there. So, I was confident about myself and obviously it was a great feeling if you take wickets for your team and help the team to win wearing the India jersey. It is a great feeling, you can't express it in words," he signed off.
(With inputs from India TV sports correspondent Vaibhav Bhola)