Yuvendra Chahal, interacting with Viswanathan Anand and Subramaniam Badrinath, spoke about how his chess skills have helped him flourish in cricket.

Yuzvendra Chahal shared a photo of him playing chess with his father (@yuzi_chahal23 Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Yuzvendra Chahal was a former India junior champion in chess
  • Chahal interacted with Viswanathan Anand and shared his experience of playing the game
  • Viswanathan Anand picked Yuvendra Chahal as his favourite cricketer

India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said he is elated after Viswanathan Anand picked him as his favourite cricketer.

Interacting with former India cricketer Subramaniam Badrinath in Star Sports’ new series ‘Mind Masters by MFORE’, Yuzvendra Chahal said he used to idolise Viswanathan Anand when he was playing chess professionally.

Chess great Viswanathan Anand also joined the conversation and shed light on the importance of mental skills and how it helps him with the sport. Anand chose Chahal as his favorite current cricketer, and he was glad to learn that as he drew inspiration from Grandmaster when he played Chess earlier.

“I am glad Viswanathan Anand Sir chose me as his favourite player, when I used to play chess, he was my idol. I played my first nationals of Chess in 1998 and at that time I was playing cricket as well. You can’t play both sports at the same time. For Chess, you need 10 – 12 hours of training and then 6 – 8 hours for cricket was getting very difficult. So, when I came back from the World Cup, I told my father I will focus only on cricket,” Yuzvendra Chahal said.

Yuzvencdra Chahal had won the U-12 chess nationals and also went on to represent India at the World Youth Chess Championships.

Speaking about the role chess has played in helping him deal with difficult situations in cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal said his skills have helped him to approach his spells with a lot of patience.

“In chess you require a lot of patience as every match is about 6 – 7 hours and you’re playing sitting at one place without speaking much. Similarly, in cricket you sometimes bowl so well but don’t get wickets.

“So, you have to be patient and keep it in your mind that you are bowling well and you’ll probably get wickets in the next spell,” Chahal said.

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