After a sensational rearguard effort that helped India win the second ODI and thus the series against Sri Lanka, Deepak Chahar said coach Rahul Dravid believed he could be a No. 7 batsman. Chahar hit an unbeaten 69 to help India chase 276, after the team was struggling at 193 for 7 at one stage.
Chahar, the Man of the Match, said it was a dream to play a knock like that.
“Only one thing was going in my mind, that this is the kind of thing you dream when you start playing cricket and when playing for India. No better way to win the match for the country," he said at the presentation ceremony.
“Rahul sir told me to play all the balls. I have played few innings for India A and he has belief in me. He told me he thinks I can be a No. 7.
“We have a fantastic batting line-up and hopefully I won’t get to bat in the next games. This is the first time for me in such a situation. We were just playing ball by ball and when it came under 50 that is when I decided to hit boundaries and after that, the six (off Sandakan) it gave me the momentum."
Chahar was Man of the Match, having picked up a couple of wickets as well.
“Few drop catches… it was hot there and we did well after that, and I got two wickets. In the end we stopped them to 270s which is a decent score."
Captain Shikhar Dhawan, meanwhile, said it was a lesson for youngsters that everyday won’t be the same in international cricket.
“It felt that the wicket today was much better and we restricted them to a good score. The spinners fought back and the bowlers adjusted their line and lengths when their batsmen were in. We didn’t start well and it is a good learning lesson for the youngsters that everyday is not the same. They will understand how to handle these situations and how to bring in new strategies.
“The way Manish Pandey and Suryakumar were batting, we thought they would take us home. Hard luck to Pandey for the way he got out. The way Krunal fought in the middle was amazing. Everyone showed character.
“We knew that Chahar has worked hard in the nets on his batting. His presence of mind and calculations against the leg-spinner (Wanindu Hasaranga) was amazing. Both Bhuvi and him calculated it really well. I felt the way Sri Lanka planned their innings in both their batting and bowling was amazing. They got the spinner early. The way they batted and fielded was good to watch. They worked really hard, but glad that we are on the winning side. Every game is a learning lesson and we hope to analyse and get better. We want to put up a good show all the time."