Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar said skipper Rohit Sharma’s confidence brought out the best out in him as he spun Mumbai Indians to an improbable 10-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
Chasing a target of 153, KKR produced a 72-run opening stand in 8.5 overs and needed another 72 from the last 10 overs but the 21-year-old Chahar pulled off quite a coup, taking a game-changing haul of 4/27.
“... he (Rohit) told me bowl with confidence... you’re bowling well, sometimes even I’m not able to understand (your variations in the nets). They (KKR batters) would also feel the same way. Just keep your focus, bowl in good length and try to get spin’,” Chahar said in the virtual press-conference.
“I knew if there was someone who could be the gamechanger in such a match, it was the spinners. I always had the confidence.”
Chahar, who has played three T20Is for India, said he didn’t feel much pressure as he is used to bowling to the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard at the nets.
“I’m used to bowling to the top Indian players in the nets, and when you do that, the pressure is less in a match scenario like this. So there was nothing much going in my mind,” he said.
“This is my fourth year with MI, I’ve been bowling to the likes of Pollard, Hardik, considered among the world’s best hitters. So I don’t feel much pressure.”
After Chahar dismissed KKR top-scorer Nitish Rana for his fourth wicket, Krunal Pandya removed Shakib-Al-Hasan.
“We both played well. He (Krunal) also had a good spell, restricting the run flow. We got some help from the wicket,” he said.
With the small target, KKR were still in the chase despite the collapse but Chahar said they never gave up.
“It was a close match. We always had the belief that (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Trent) Boult would turn the match in the death overs,” he signed off.
Mumbai Indians will next play Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai.
With PTI Inputs