Deepak Chahar – The One That Swung Away?

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Deepak Chahar – A Must Have For India?

The Indian Cricket team currently is well stocked with pace bowlers. It is perhaps the first time in cricketing history that India has among the best fast bowlers in world cricket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and so many more. Plus, they have a new kid called Deepak Chahar.

Deepak Chahar is amongst one of the brightest prospects in Indian Cricket.

But how does India fit him in and what are his strengths?

Deepak Chahar – New Ball Nouse

Deepak Chahar bowls for India against the West Indies in a T20I in 2019
Deepak Chahar (L) of India celebrates the dismissal of Sunil Narine of West Indies during the 3rd T20i match between West Indies and India at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, on August 6, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Should Deepak Chahar play in the World T20 for India – whenever it finally does take place? Or should someone like Navdeep Saini play instead on the hard and bouncy pitches in Australia?

India is likely to play both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in their pace attack -provided that both of them are fit for the World T20. Therefore, some may argue that Deepak Chahar’s style of bowling is less necessary. This is because India already has Bhuvneshwar Kumar who performs a similar role.

Deepak Chahar’s main strength is swinging the bowl upfront with immaculate accuracy. This means that batsmen find it difficult to attack him when he bowls with the new ball – as they are not sure which way the ball will deviate. However, on pacy pitches in Australia, is that style of bowling going to be effective? Saini is much quicker and can rattle batsman. However, Saini does tend to leak runs at times because of his pace.

Personally, I would say that Deepak Chahar is a better option than Navdeep Saini. India does have Bumrah at their disposal who can bowl with pace and bounce. Depending on what pitch the game is played at, Deepak Chahar could definitely be looked at – especially if the pitches are on the slower side. It is an interesting debate.

Deepak Chahar – CSK Centaur

Bowling in the IPL final for CSK against MI at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium 2019
HYDERABAD, INDIA – MAY 12: Deepak Chahar of the Chennai Super Kings celebrates taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma of the Mumbai Indians during the Indian Premier League Final match between the the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Hyderabad, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Deepak Chahar has played 34 Indian Premier League games and taken 33 wickets. This may seem like an average record but he has improved considerably over time. Remember, in his first 5 games Chahar picked up only 1 wicket.

Slowly though, under the guidance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chahar has improved – especially playing for the Chennai Super Kings. In CSK’s title-winning season, Chahar played 12 games and took 10 wickets. He only went at 7.28 runs an over – bowling mostly in the powerplay with Lungi Ngidi.

MS Dhoni has used him extremely well. In the 2019 IPL season where CSK made the final, Deepak Chahar performed even better. He picked up an amazing 22 wickets in just 17 games at a bowling average of 21.90. His economy rate again was only 7.47. He was instrumental on the slow pitches of Cheupak and also did a fabulous job away from home on more fast-bowler friendly pitches.

He formed a very strong fast-bowling partnership with Lungi Ngidi. The pace and bounce of Ngidi mixed with the accuracy of Chahar helped CSK to win the title in 2018. It is likely that he will continue to perform well for CSK under the guidance of MS Dhoni.

He has the experience of bowling on a variety of pitches. This could come in handy for India when they play abroad in T20I’s and especially for the World T20 that is upcoming.

Also, Read – Top 5 Most Powerful Batsmen in IPL History

All-Round Excellence?

Chahar fielding against the West Indies in a T20 match 2019 for India Cricket
Deepak Chahar of India is seen fielding during the 3rd T20i match between West Indies and India at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, on August 6, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Along with his superb bowling, Deepak Chahar has demonstrated good all-round skills in the past. In qualifier 1 during IPL 2018, he played a good cameo of 10 from just 6 balls. CSK were under pressure at this stage – 62-6, chasing 140 for a place in the IPL final.

Some critics may disregard such contributions. This is because they argue that it is too minimal or that bowlers who bat in his position hardly bat enough. However, in a T20 match, even a boundary or two from the lower-order can change the game or finish off the chase. It is perhaps always better to have more tools than you need since you do not know when they will come in handy.

The fact that Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar can both bat would lengthen India’s batting by a reasonable amount. This would mean that they could even overcome a batting collapse. Such collapses in T20 are relatively common and if it were to happen for India in a knockout game, then surely the extra batting would come in handy?

Deepak Chahar has also proved to be a good fielding option. Fielding saves a lot of runs in T20Is as well. The more runs saved, the less the Indian Cricket Team has to score.

Possible Team Combination of India in World T20

Deepak Chahar of India appeals for lbw against Evin Lewis of West Indies during the 3rd T20i match between West Indies and India at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, on August 6, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

How India will fit Deepak Chahar in their T20 eleven is still yet to be decided. There is definitely one spot open, but it depends on how adventurous India is willing to be.

India should not make the same mistake as previous tournaments and pick Hardik Pandya as the fifth bowling option with Kedar Jadhav as the sixth bowling option. They did this at the Cricket World Cup 2019 and it did not pay off.

They eventually decided to play both Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the semi-final. Again though, they made the same mistake and did not play a sixth bowler. It may seem that the batting flopped, but India in truth conceded 15-20 runs too many for the conditions. 239 was a good score for New Zealand since the conditions played perfectly into their hands.

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are almost guaranteed to open the batting. Virat Kohli should slot in at number 3. Either MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant or Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer will likely make up the numbers 4 and 5.

Watch Video – Chahar takes 6-7 versus Bangladesh

All-Round Excellence In Team Combination?

This means that ideally, Hardik Pandya should bat number 6 for India, to ensure that they have him as the sixth bowling option. Krunal Pandya or Ravindra Jadeja is most likely to bat at number 7, as the second all-rounder. Both are excellent packages to choose from

In the bowling attack, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are almost certain to start if they are both fully fit. This leaves two spots. Since there is already 3 seamers and 1 spinner, India will most likely play a second spinner and a 4th pacer.

I would personally play Yuzvendra Chahal and have Shreyas Gopal as a reserve. Gopal has outbowled Kuldeep in the Indian Premier League over the last two seasons. Plus he has great finishing abilities. Does Deepak Chahar win the final spot?

Deepak Chahar or Navdeep Saini is likely going to be the call that the Indian selectors will have to make depending on the pitch. Saini is quicker but I’d go for Deepak Chahar on most pitches.

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