After struggling with two "big" injuries last year, India pacer Deepak Chahar says he is fully fit and set to make his comeback with the Indian Premier League beginning March 31.
The 30-year-old injury-prone fast bowler had a tough time recovering from a stress fracture and more recently a quad grade 3 tear. He last played for India in the second ODI in Bangladesh where he broke down after bowling three overs.
In the whole of 2022, Chahar could only feature in 15 games for India and was also ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to injury.
Having done an extensive rehab at the National Cricket Academy, Chahar is preparing for the IPL where he will represent the Chennai Super Kings.
"I working hard for the past two three months on my fitness, I am fully fit and preparing well for the IPL," Chahar told PTI.
"I had two big injures. One was stress fracture and one was quad grade 3 tear. They are both are very big injuries. You are out for months. Anyone who comes back after the injury it takes time, especially for the fast bowlers.
"If I was a batter I would be playing way back long but as a fast bowler, when you have a stress fracture, it is very tough to get back on track. You can see other bowlers struggling with the back as well." The Rajasthan pacer made a return to competitive cricket with a first-class game against Services last month but that was his only appearance in Ranji Trophy.
Multiple injuries have pushed him down in the pecking order but he hopes to be part of the Indian team for the ODI World Cup at home later this year.
"I have lived by one rule all my life. If I am fully bowling the way I want, if I am batting the way I want, there is no stopping me. That was the basic rule with which I started my career.
"I don't care who is playing, who is not playing , my motive is to get fully fit and perform with the ball and bat 100 per cent. If I do that, I will get my chances," said Chahar who has also proved his value with the bat in his international career that began in 2018.
Since making his India debut in July 2018, he has managed to play in 13 ODIs and 24 T20s.
The men's IPL will be preceded by the inaugural Women's Premier League and Chahar could not be more excited for his female counterparts.
"IPL changed men's cricket forever, people got a lot of opportunities. Same thing will happen with Women's Premier League. Women's cricket will grow very fast as they will face international players very early in their careers. It will also help a lot of women cricketers who have not been able to make money and will fuel competition," said Chahar.
The interaction was arranged by Formula E following the inaugural race in Hyderabad on February 11. Chahar was among the cricketers who attended the race alongside Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal.
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