One of Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) success stories, this season, is that of Rajasthan’s bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar. The 25-year-old paceman impressed one and all with his swing bowling while holding the new ball and now he credits skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his success.
During a recent interview, Chahar revealed that it was Dhoni who put him on the priority list prior – to the two-day mega-auction this season, showing immense faith in the talented young cricketer.
Chahar obliged to the faith laid upon him, featuring in almost all the matches from a star-studded squad, picking up 10 wickets, and displaying his batting credentials in the final game of the round robin league.
“There was responsibility and my captain had faith in me. Before the auctions, he had indicated that he would pick me for this IPL. Now, everyone in the team tells me that Dhoni bhaiya had suggested my name to the team management at the first go,” Deepak Chahar told Sportstarlive.
Further deep into the conversation, Chahar was all praises for Dhoni’s brand of captaincy. During the course of the tournament, Dhoni had the tendency to use Chahar’s four overs within the first ten overs.
“He had apparently told them, ‘isse sabse Pehle Lena hai’. He had full confidence in me. I have also been working on my game for the last few years and I needed a platform to prove my talent. He gave me that platform and used me perfectly,” replied Chahar when asked to rate his season, deemed as CSK’s strike bowler.
Apparently, the Agra-born cricketer questioned Dhoni about not giving him an opportunity for bowling at the death. To which, Dhoni advised to give himself some time and focus on gradual improvement.
“He grooms the players, using me more with the new ball. I had even asked him the reason behind not using me in the death overs, and he said that one should improve slowly,” Chahar said.
“He has a huge knowledge of how to use a particular player. That’s the reason he is such a great captain. He knows how to get the best out of a player, and that helped me. I doubt whether it would have been this easy had there been some other captain,” replied Chahar when asked about sets apart Dhoni from the others.
Had Dhoni been the captain last year, I would have certainly played all the matches: Chahar
Interestingly, Chahar added spice to the interaction by claiming that had he played under Dhoni for Pune Supergiants, last year, instead of Steven Smith, he would have had more game time.
Also, Deepak Chahar pointed over favouritism within the Australian contingent in the squad as Smith preferred Christian over him as far as all-rounders are concerned.
“When I was with the Pune side in 2016, I pulled up a hamstring injury in the practice game and could not feature in the first seven to eight matches. By the time I recovered, the team was set. I could only play the last three games,” he said.
“In Pune, they picked me as a batting all-rounder, but Smith wanted to play Daniel Christian. They also had Ben Stokes in the ranks. Faf (du Plessis) and I were not playing. Now when I look back, I feel had Dhoni been the captain last year, I would have certainly played all the matches (laughs),” Chahar quoted when asked about the experience last year with Dhoni and Stephen Fleming.