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Yuzvendra Chahal – India's former Under-12 chess champion checkmates England with record six-wicket haul

New Delhi: Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal won the hearts of millions of cricket fans with a record six-wicket haul during 3rd T20I against England the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday night.

The Haryana spinner, who has been hugely successful for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (RCB) for the last few seasons, finally arrived at the big stage with a match-winning spell to flummox Eoin Morgan and his men.

Chahal (6/25), was the sole reason behind England’s stunning collapse in the third T20I, which gave India a 2-1 series win.

While we all know about Chahal’s ability to bamboozle the best batsmen with his variation, what most of us don’t know is that he is also a brilliant chess player.

In fact, he was the under-12 national chess champion, after which he also represented India at the Asian Youth Championship in Kozhikode and went on to play at the World Youth Chess Championship in Greece. Lack of funds forced him to give up on chess.

Chahal once said that the experience of playing chess helps him in setting a plot to dismiss batsmen.

“Chess helps me plot the opposition batsman’s dismissal. I try to be one step ahead of the batsman, especially in T20 cricket where the bowler has to think on his feet,” the 26-year-old Chahal told The Times of India. “Then when the batsman is going hard, I try to remain calm. My chess training helps me in staying focused on the job in hand,” he added.

After doing well in the Indian domestic cricket, Chahal was first picked up by the Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2011 and was the star of the team’s campaign in the now defunct Champions League Twenty20.

After spending two more years with the Mumbai franchise, he was roped in by RCB, where he has played since 2014.

Chahal made his international debut for the Men in Blue after he was picked for India’s tour to Zimbabwe. For the limited-overs tour of the African nation, he was accompanied by four other uncapped players – Faiz Fazal, Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav and Karun Nair.

He has so far played three ODIs and six T20 internationals for the Men in Blue.

Source: Zee News