One of the key men in New Zealand’s series-levelling victory in the second Twenty20 international at Rajkot, Sodhi took it up a notch when challenging Chahal at chess. Not once, but twice. After Chahal won their online game, Sodhi produced his chess set on the plane to Thiruvananthapuram.
“We found out Chahal was an Indian chess champion when he was younger so I talked to him about it and kind of challenged him. It hasn’t really worked out in my favour so far,” Sodhi said. “We played two games and it’s fair to say he hammered me. I didn’t expect him to be as cunning as what he was. I was always on the defensive. It was pretty funny for everyone.”
Thankfully for Sodhi his Indian tour had already taken a decisive upswing in his country of birth where he starred at the World Twenty20 last year, when the gifted legspinner showed all his tricks and control.
Sodhi stormed back in the squad with a combined 3-50 off eight overs. His opposite number Chahal’s combined return was 3-62.
“It’s always tough missing out on teams and that’s part of international sport. While you’re disappointed, there are always areas you can work on and I’ve taken that feedback and gone back and worked hard in those areas. I feel I’m making some good gains and that’s all I can do,” he said.
Sodhi took 2-25 in game one in Delhi and proced a miserly spell of 1-25 to strangle the run chase at Rajkot.