Former India captain MS Dhoni’s ability to groom and help develop young players is well known. In the IPL one of those who has benefitted from Dhoni’s acumen and insights is Chennai Super Kings’ Deepak Chahar.
Chahar, who had burst onto the scenes with a mind-boggling performance on Ranji Trophy debut fizzled out of reckoning even for domestic cricket after suffering a serious injury. It was Dhoni who got Chahar into the Rising Pune Supergiant side in IPL 2016, groomed him and then took him to CSK. There Chahar realised his full potential and rose to be one of CSK’s main weapon with the new ball.
In a recent interview with former India opener Aakash Chopra, Chahar said that he wanted to bowl in the death but Dhoni had other ideas.
“Generally you don’t give the old ball to bowlers who have pace of 120-125 km/h but when I was playing for RPS and even for CSK I was bowling at around 140 but still he didn’t give me the ball in the death,” Chahar told Chopra in his show Aakash Vaani.
Asked the reason behind Dhoni backing him so much, Chahar explained that Dhoni likes cricketers who can contribute in all three departments.
“I think Dhoni prefers those who are good in all departments. He likes those who can contribute in batting bowling and fielding. A bowler can have a bad day but he can change a match by grabbing a good catch or can win the batch with a six or a four.
“If you look at our team, we have many players who are good in every department. T20 is a format that requires you to do everything. There are a lot of teams in the IPL which have a strong batting line-up or a strong bowling attack but they remain dependent on a few cricketers. If they do well, they end up winning you matches single-handedly but if they don’t, the team struggles,” Chahar said.
Chahar had been found Covid-positive towards the end of last month but the right-arm seamer joined the CSK practice about a week ago and is set to take the new ball for CSK in the IPL 2020 opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
“I had asked this to Mahi bhai. He gave me a two-word answer and then I couldn’t say much. So I asked the bowling coach a couple of times, he also said I should be bowled in the death overs. Finally, I gathered some courage and asked Mahi bhai when he was sitting in a room. He said, ‘I groom players’ and that’s it. He didn’t say anything else,” Chahar added.