Harare: After a match-winning performance of 3-27 in India’s 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first ODI, pacer Deepak Chahar feels that he has picked up his bowling finesse from where he had left before injuries sidelined him for almost seven months.
Chahar was out of cricketing action since the T20I series against the West Indies in February due to left quadriceps injury and then picked a back injury, which ruled him out of IPL 2022 for Chennai Super Kings. He is currently in the reserves for the Asia Cup, starting from August 27 in the UAE.
“Its not in my hands to say if I will be selected or not (for Men’s T20 World Cup). But skill wise I have worked very hard. I think I have picked up from where I had left off (before injury). In the match, barring first two overs, including the first one, I bowled well. I bowled seven overs at one go, which indicates that my fitness levels are okay,” said Chahar in the post-match press conference.
Asked about preparations he put in for his international comeback, Chahar explained, “I knew I will make my comeback in this series, which is an ODI series. So, I started loading my body accordingly. The day I started bowling, in the first session, I bowled six overs. Before coming here, I played in two-three practice games, where I bowled full quota of 10 overs.”
“Difficulty was there (in making international comeback). Because you are expecting things from yourself and are trying to regain your place in the side. When you don’t play for a long time, in the interim, people who played have also performed and consolidated their places in the team.
“So in order to regain your spot in the team, you have to put up a good performance. Not one good performance, but many good performances are needed. Obviously pressure was there and I wanted to perform at the first opportunity because that’s all that a player can control in his hand.”
Though he pitched his deliveries mostly in good length areas, the short ball did the trick for Chahar as he cramped Innocent Kaia for room on the pull and the thick-edge was grabbed by wicketkeeper Sanju Samson on the second attempt.
He returned in his next over to have Tadiwanashe Marumani poking at a short ball and nicked behind to Samson. Post power-play, Chahar had his third scalp as his late swing on a full ball trapped Wesley Madhevere lbw while going for the flick.
“My plan is always simple. When the ball is swinging, try to bowl fuller length and take as many wickets as possible. When the ball is not swinging, then there is a Plan B or Plan C. During the match when I bowled, it swung for six-seven overs. So I had a simple plan: bowl full, mix the swing and confuse the batsmen,” concluded Chahar.