Deepak Chahar was known as a pace bowler who could swing the ball. His IPL performance propelled him to Team India. But nowhere in his CV, has been mentioned that he could bat his team to win – but the coach for India’s team to Sri Lanka Rahul Dravid thought otherwise.
According to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it was Dravid’s Masterstroke to promote Chahar ahead of India’s Vice-Captain.
Result – Chahar’s heroics with bat led India to a stunning 3-wicket win against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, courtersy Rahul Dravid’s Masterstroke.
At 193/7 with Krunal Pandya, the last designated batsman back in the dugout, India still needed 84 runs to win and a defeat looked inevitable.
But Deepak Chahar batted his way through the last over to lead India to 9th straight ODI series win against Sri Lanka.
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Before the 2nd ODI against Sri Lanka, although Deepak Chahar had scored half-centuries in domestic cricket, those came against Odisha and Bihar. His highest score in IPL was 39 and 12 in ODIs.
Not many trusted him with the bat. But Rahul Dravid knew his potential having seen him bat during India A tours, especially his 39 against England Lions and 38 against South Africa A were enough for Rahul Dravid to see potential in him.
“He played with India A under Rahul Dravid before and he was good in those series. So, he knew Deepak can bat and hit a few balls well. It was Rahul Dravid’s call to send him ahead of me and the way he batted he proved the call right. He has batted well in Ranji Trophy few times so it wasn’t a tough call but it’s good to see the way he scored those runs,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said in the post-match press conference.
“It was a similar situation. But we didn’t do much planning. The idea was to play till the last over and get as close as possible. But we never thought of winning the match. We only thought of batting as deep as possible. The way Deepak batted was just amazing,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said.
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