On Sunday, 27-year-old Deepak Chahar registered the best figures in Twenty20 International history when his six for 7 in 3.2 overs helped India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Chahar also became the second Indian to pick a hat-trick in the format. A day after his fairy tale performance, the pacer credited the faith that skipper Rohit Sharma showed in him that makes him happy.
“He told me I will use you as a Jasprit Bumrah today. I will bowl you in the crucial overs and that was motivating for me. I love it when I am given responsibility under pressure because that makes me feel that I am being trusted. I feel bad when nobody trusts me. To get that confidence from the captain felt good at that stage of the game,” Chahar told IANS in an interview on Monday.
He does not mind being compared to Bumrah since he knows that Bumrah is the No.1 bowler at present in the format and it is a matter of pride to be compared to the pacer.
“Imandar hona chahiye (You should be honest)…I know where he stands and I also know where I stand. He is the No.1 bowler in the format and as a T20 bowler, he has everything, be it pace or control. He is the No.1 bowler for me and saying that is not a shame. I am not competing with him and my job is to do well. You need to focus on the game and the team should win and that has to be the priority.
“When they were cruising at the end of 12 overs, I wanted to walk up to him and ask for the ball from the captain, but I didn’t because I knew the captain would have his plan and give me the ball. The whole thought was that we shouldn’t lose the game and the series. What matters when you play for the country is to perform and win matches,” he explained.
Chahar, who plies his trade for Indian Premier League (IPL) Chennai Super Kings (CSK), said that playing in Chennai helped him learn the art.
“Playing in Chennai has helped a lot. In Chennai there is a lot of dew and sweat and I have made mistakes and bowled no-balls in those situations, but I learnt from that. I have learnt from that experience on what to bowl in these situations and how to go about the job,” he said.
And talks about CSK is never complete without MS Dhoni. “I keep speaking to Dhoni, but Mahi bhai doesn’t give you too many inputs. He explains things to you in match situations when he feels you need help. He always says that you are a professional and you should know what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you should deal with a certain situation. He gives you that confidence that you are good to perform at the top level,” he smiled.
“People assumed that and didn’t give me a chance to bowl at the death. Whenever I got a chance, I bowled well. I have bowled before as well, even for my state. Generally you don’t bowl those bowlers at the death who bowl at less than 130kph, but I don’t have that issue. I have bowled around 135kph even in the IPL and say in CSK I wasn’t used because Mahi bhai had other bowlers.
“It depends also on the captain. Team requirement is also something that you need to look into. Like on Sunday we had only two fast bowlers in Khaleel Ahmed and me. Shivam Dube isn’t a proper fast bowler. So, Rohit bhaiya used me in the death. When I played before, the set-up needed me to bowl at the top,” he pointed.
Chahar is now looking forward to sealing his spot in the T20 World Cup next year, but wants to keep working on his game and get better with each passing day.
“World T20 is about 11 months away and that is a long time. Obviously, I have that in the mind and we are looking to win the trophy, but as a sportsman you can’t think so far as there is a lot of international cricket before that as well as the IPL. I want to gain more trust from the management till then and there will be times where I will get hit and I want to still gain the trust of the team so that they support me. Performing in every match is the goal.
“I take every game as the last as the competition is very high and the fast bowling unit is doing really well. Cementing your place in this team is very tough, so I look to perform every time I get an opportunity,” he signed off.