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T20I berth priority for Deepak Chahar

Despite having played only twice for the senior team, there’s not an iota of nervousness in Chahar

By Sayak Banerjee in Calcutta
  • Published 29.07.19, 1:28 AM
  • Updated 29.07.19, 1:28 AM
  • 2 mins read
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“Cementing my place in 50-over cricket is also something I am looking at. But for the moment, my focus is only on the upcoming T20Is. Nothing else is on my mind now,” Deepak Chahar emphasised. (Picture: @ChaharDeepak9)

Past is past, believes Deepak Chahar.

The right-arm medium pacer made his India debut in the third and final T20I in Bristol against England where he took the prized scalp of Jason Roy. His next India appearance was in the Asia Cup game against Afghanistan. But the second match didn’t go too well for Chahar as he conceded 37 off his four overs and took only one wicket.

However, the 26-year-old is not bothered about the past and his only target at present is to perform impressively in the T20Is on the upcoming tour of the West Indies.

Despite having played only twice for the senior team, there’s not an iota of nervousness in Chahar. Cementing his place in the XI will be tough, but make no mistake, Chahar is ready to take the challenge head on.

“Obviously, it’s a good opportunity to prove my mettle again. This is the third time I will be touring with the India senior team, so I don’t think I will be going in as a fresher. “Yeah, when I get the opportunity, I just need to try and give my best,” Chahar told The Telegraph on Sunday, before joining the rest of the squad in Mumbai. The players will leave for the Caribbean campaign on Monday.

“No matter how many matches I get to play on this tour, my goal is to cement my place in India’s T20I squad. That is precisely my sole objective at the moment.

“Cementing my place in 50-over cricket is also something I am looking at. But for the moment, my focus is only on the upcoming T20Is. Nothing else is on my mind now,” Chahar emphasised.

One advantage for Chahar is that he was there in the Caribbean just a week ago playing for India A, who beat West Indies A 4-1 in the five-match one-day series. Chahar didn’t get too many wickets in that series — three from four matches — but his economy rate wasn’t bad at all.

The India A experience will count, Chahar said.

“Yes, it’s not that I will be playing in the Caribbean for the first time. I was there some days ago playing for India A. My performance there, I think, was decent although I am well aware that I will have to do even better. The bar obviously has to be raised.

“Besides, the IPL this year too went well for me. So these are some of the things that are adding to my confidence.”

Asked what would be his approach in the T20I series, Chahar said he would look to mix things up.

“In the India A matches, we saw that the pitches in the West Indies were good for batting. The gentle breeze blowing helps the quicks. So I would be looking to mix it up with bouncers as well.

“You also need to gauge how the batsman is playing, his movements at the crease, whether he is looking tentative or not. All those things matter.”

His cousin, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, is also there in the T20I squad, which certainly pleases him. “It’s an honour for our family. Seldom do we come across brothers playing in the same team. If both of us are in the XI, it surely will be a big occasion for our family.”