Player of the match in the first ODI between India and Zimbabwe, Deepak Chahar, is trusting the hard work he has put in to finesse his skill to come handy when selections for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia are made.
The Indian pacer led India’s show with the ball as he sent the hosts’ top order packing in his new ball spell to return with bowling figures 3/27 in his first game in nearly six months after recovering from a hamstring injury.
In the post-match press conference after the match-winning performance, the bowler said that it took him a couple of overs to find his rhythm before sending batters Innocent Kaia, Tadiwanashe Marumani and Wessly Madhevere back to the pavilion without inflicting any significant damage.
“I can’t say if I will be selected or not as that’s not in my hands but skill wise I have worked very hard.
“I think I have picked up from where I had left and today also barring first two overs, I bowled well. I bowled seven overs at one go, which indicates that my fitness levels are okay,” said Chahar.
Dissecting his plans to the top-order batters, he spoke about utilising the conditions that, in fact, made captain KL Rahul opt to bowl first after winning the toss. Chahar, who is often used as a the go-to bowler in the first few overs by MS Dhoni for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, is best suited for conditions where there is both swing and seam movement on offer.
“My plan remains simple, when the ball is swinging try to bowl fuller length and take wickets. If the ball isn’t swinging, then there is a plan ‘B’ or ‘C’. Today, it was swinging till the seventh over that I was bowling. So it was simple — bowl a fuller length and mix the swing and confuse the batter.”
Skipper Rahul earlier spoke about the work he, Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav had put in during their rehabilitation in NCA in order to recover and regain full fitness before the series. Chahar further spoke about the preparation and having to cement his place in the team again, saying, “I knew I will make my comeback in this series, which is an ODI series, so I started loading my body accordingly. The day I started bowling, I bowled six overs and then when I played 2-3 practice games, I bowled full quota of 10 overs.”
“Difficulty was there. Because you are trying to regain your place in the side and in the interim, people who played have also performed and consolidated their places.”
He added: “So in order to regain your spot, you have to put up a good performance, Obviously pressure was there and I wanted to perform at the first opportunity because that’s all that a player can control.”