Deepak Chahar blew away the Bangladesh batting order in the third and final T20I to guide India a 2-1 series win at the VCA Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday night.
With the visitors chasing 175 to win, the 27-year-old seamer bagged 6 wickets for just 7 runs, including a hat-trick, from 3.2 overs to return with the best ever figures in T20Is, surpassing the previous record held by Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis who claimed 6/8 against Zimbabwe in 2012.
However, a series of intermittent injuries had cluttered his mind and dampened his spirit. During his IPL debut, for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Chahar took 10 wickets from 12 matches at an average of 27.80. But, skipper MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming helped him find his verve and also rekindle his passion for the game. Bowling coach Andrew Bichel also played crucial roles in helping Chahar hone his skills further.
With help from these three, Chahar finally began to taste success the following season. CSK may have failed to win the 2019 IPL title, but Chahar enhanced his reputation by consistently removing top-order batsmen. He took 22 wickets from 17 matches at an impressive average of 21.90.
“Mahi bhai [MS Dhoni] was in Pune [Rising Pune Supergiant] for two years. He had faith in me. In the first year itself, he told me I would get to play, but unfortunately, I got injured in the very first practice match. So I could play only the last two-three matches,” Chahar was quoted as saying by Times Now.
“Next year, [Steven] Smith was the captain, and his plans were different, so I played only two-three matches. But Mahi bhai had told me he’d take me in Chennai [Super Kings] and to prepare well. So I had the belief that I will get chances. And Mahi bhai is among those people who will back you fully. He won’t change his decision after just one or two matches. I knew that I would get at least five-six matches,” he added.
With his heroics, Chahar is now expected to put his name forward for the 50-over game as fans marvel over the performance.
— Kartik Murali (@kartikmurali) November 11, 2019
Very impressed with the way @deepak_chahar9 has evolved as a T20I bowler. Always had the ability to pick up wickets with the new ball but has worked hard to bowl in the middle and end overs. Got a lot of variations up his sleeves & knows when to use them. #INDvsBAN
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 10, 2019
A hat-trick and a world-best for #DeepakChahar. Even more impressive was that he took on the role of the leader and took those wickets with a wet ball. A night to savour for him and his family.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 10, 2019