Rahul Chahar, a 21-year-old leg spinner has come a long way in a short period of time from playing just 3 matches in his debut IPL season in 2017 before becoming a regular feature in the Mumbai Indians playing XI.
Rahul Chahar, who was bought for Rs 1.90 crore at the 2018 IPL player auction by the Mumbai franchise, had an impressive season last year (2020), claiming 15 wickets in 15 matches.
Rahul Chahar Looking Forward To Another Good Season With Mumbai Indians And Is Confident The Franchise Will Clinch Their 6th Title
Rahul Chahar has already been a part of defending champions Mumbai Indians’ two title wins – 2019 and 2020 – out of a total of five and the 21-year-old is confident that captain Rohit Sharma will hit a sixer of titles in IPL 14. Rohit Sharma has so far led the Mumbai Indians to five title wins – 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
“I am looking forward to another good season with Mumbai Indians. We have the best coaching staff. We have Zaheer Khan, Mahela Jayawardene and it is an honour to take cricketing lessons from them. I am sure I will have another huge learning curve with the team once again,” Rahul told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I am confident that Mumbai Indians will clinch their sixth title. The way the boys are performing and are in form, especially Rohit (Rohit Sharma), Hardik (Pandya), Krunal, Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), and Ishan Kishan, the side is looking very strong and are the favourites to win the sixth title and the third in a row. I am sure Rohit will hit a sixer of titles this time,” he further said.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav are brimming with confidence after their impressive debut outings in the recently-concluded T20I series against England at home. Ishan Kishan scored 60 runs in 2 matches with 1 fifty, while Suryakumar Yadav played three matches and batted in two, smashing 89 runs at an average of 44.50.
Rahul Chahar believes the duo will be key players for the Mumbai Indians in their IPL 2021 campaign this time.
“Rohit, Hardik and Pollard are the star players for our team. They have the ability to turn the game at any point of time. Apart from these three, I think Surya and Ishan will be the key players for us this season. They are in tremendous form,” Rahul told TimesofIndia.com.
Rahul Chahar made his international debut in 2019 in a T20I vs West Indies in Guyana under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. He claimed one wicket in the form of Carlos Brathwaite and conceded 27 runs in three overs.
Rahul Chahar Who Felt Good To Make A Comeback To The Indian Side After Almost 1 And 1/2 Years Praises Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma
After that, the leg spinner failed to make it to the Indian side. Earlier this year, he once again got the nod for the T20I series against England at home. He claimed two big wickets for his team in the second T20I, his comeback game. He bowled Dawid Malan for 14 runs and then got rid of Jonny Bairstow for 25.
“I made a comeback to the Indian side after almost one and a half years. It felt really good to be a part of the team once again. I worked on certain areas. I want to be consistent and play as long as possible for my team. I want to play all three formats for India. I want to give credit to my uncle and Zaheer sir. Zaheer sir has played a big role in taking my game to the next level,” the spinner from Rajasthan further said.
He also credited Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for making him a confident bowler.
“The best quality in Rohit and Virat is that they show trust and confidence in me and other bowlers. Your confidence is sky high when your captain backs you, especially in crunch situations,” the 21-year-old, who is medium pacer Deepak Chahar’s cousin said.
“When I was playing for India, Virat used to come and tell me the areas where I should be pitching the ball. He said you are a good bowler and all you need to do is hit certain areas. At Mumbai Indians, Rohit always says I will surely take a wicket. Both Virat and Rohit give me confidence. That’s the best quality in them. Even if you are being hit by the batsmen, both of them will back you,” he said.
“We always watch videos of batsmen and make plans. Rohit comes and discusses the plans after watching the videos and tells me the areas I should be bowling in,” Rahul added.
Rahul Chahar wants to take it one step at a time. With the likes of frontline spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Kuldeep Yadav already in the running for berths in the Indian playing XI for the upcoming T20I World Cup, Rahul Chahar might find it difficult to find a consistent place in the team.
In that context, the leg spinner knows an impressive outing in the IPL will go a long way in impressing the selectors and the team management.
“I don’t want to think about it (India playing XI spot) right now. IPL is the only thing on my mind right now. If I perform well, I will surely get the chance. It is the ultimate dream to reach there (Indian team),” Rahul signed off.
MI Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla/ Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
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