Deepak Chahar had an impressive outing in the Mohali Twenty20 International against South Africa on Wednesday. In his opening spell in the powerplay, he dismissed Reeza Hendricks for 6 and in the death overs, with South Africa aiming a big finish, he came back and got the wicket of Temba Bavuma for 49 to finish with 2/22 in four overs. Chahar has been impressive ever since his debut with his ability to swing the ball both in the air and off the pitch as well as using the variations.
The death overs in any form of limited overs cricket is a challenge for bowlers. Most are unable to execute their skills and their confidence takes a beating after the batsmen go after them aggressively. For Chahar, the opposite is true. The youngster claimed that he relishes bowling in the death overs rather than in the powerplay as there are more fielders and he likes to take the batsmen by surprise.
"Earlier I used to bowl more in the death overs and find it easier because in Powerplay you have only two fielders outside the circle and after that you have the protection of five fielders. You can use variation also in death overs. How I bowl depends on the batsmen. In the death overs, the batsmen is expecting yorkers or a slower ball but if you can also bowl a bouncer or knuckle ball, it can surprise him. You to have to keep guessing the batsman," Chahar said.
The Rajasthan pacer, who is used to open the bowling for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and when asked about how he developed his skills, Chahar was unsure. In his opening spell of three overs, Chahar swung the ball and picked up the wicket of Reeza Hendricks before returning in the 18th over to remove a set Temba Bavuma with a well disguised slower ball. "I don't know how I developed it (bowling at the top) but you have to do it when you are playing for India. It is challenging with only two fielders outside the circle. But I have started thinking sub-consciously that I will need to bowl three overs with two fielders outside the circle," Chahar said.
India are gearing up for the 2020 World T20 which is in Australia and they have a total of 27 international Twenty20 games before they finalise their team composition. Chahar has impressed in the chances that he has got but he is aware that cementing his place in the Indian cricket team for the tournament is far from guaranteed. "There is one whole year left for that. I play each match as if it is my last for India. At this time Indian cricket is at the top. If you want to play you have to do well in almost every game. There is a lot of competition and may be that is why Indian cricket is at the top. There is no guarantee that you will get your place back even if you are returning from an injury," Chahar said.
The third and final game of the three-match Twenty20 International series will be played on September 21 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. With the first match in Dharamshala being abandoned due to rain and the second match in Mohali resulting in an India win, Virat Kohli's side will be determined to clinch the series and continue their dominance of South Africa in limited overs cricket.