Deepak Chahar played an unbeaten knock of 69 runs off 82 balls to guide India to victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday. Chahar also grabbed two wickets and conceded 53 runs in 8 overs. With this win, India has now taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match ODI series.
Chasing 276, India were down and out at 193 for seven before Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out) forged an unbeaten 84-run partnership for the eight wicket to seal a memorable win for the Men in Blue, who extended their ODI record of not losing on Sri Lanka soil since 2012.
After leading India to an improbable three-wicket win by hitting a boundary on the first delivery of the final over, Chahar revealed what head coach Rahul Dravid had told him before walking out to bat.
“No better way to win the match for the country. Rahul sir told me to play all the balls. I’ve played a few innings with India A (when Dravid was coach) and I think he has belief in me.
“He told me he thinks I’m good enough to be a No. 7 (but he batted at 8). He has belief in me. Hopefully in the coming matches I don’t have to bat. When we came under 50 that’s when I believed we can win. Before that it was ball by ball. I took some risks after,” said Chahar at the post-match presentation.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 20, 2021
Prior to the second ODI against Sri Lanka, Chahar’s highest score in international cricket was 12.
“It was hot out there, we did well there. Got two wickets. We managed to stop them at 270 (275 actually). It was a decent score on this wicket.
“Only one thing that was going on in my mind: this is the kind of innings I’ve been dreaming of. No better way to win the match for the country,” he said when asked about his mindset while batting in the middle.
The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Friday (July 23).