ICC World T20 2022: Deepak Chahar’s return to India squad sure to cause headaches for selectors
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022: Deepak Chahar's return to India squad sure to cause headaches for selectors. Deepak Chahar added as standby player in Asia Cup 2022 squad.
India pacer Deepak Chahar has made a return to professional cricket after a gap of close to 7 months. He sustained an injury to his quadriceps during the home T20I series against West Indies in February and then picked a back injury. He had to miss the entirety of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 where he was supposed to play for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Chahar had been on rehabilitation in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to regain his fitness and was expected to be drafted into the team once fully recovered. Expectedly, Chahar made his return to the international side for the ODI series against Zimbabwe and has been picked as one of the standby players for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 T20 to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The 30-year-old player though having some signs of rust, did brilliantly in his return game. CSK’s premier pacer registered figures of 3/27 and was declared the player of the match for his efforts. Though it may have come against a team like Zimbabwe, but it seemed he just resumed from where he left off.
Speaking after his match-winning spell against Zimbabwe in the 1st ODI, the pacer said, “I knew I will be making my comeback in this series. I played all the practice games and I was bowling more than six overs.” He further said that he felt good to have found his rhythm and groove back after being away from the game for many months.
Also, Chahar was optimistic with respect to his selection for the T20 World Cup. He said, "The selection for the T20 World Cup is not in my control. I do not know whether I will be selected or not. But skill-wise, I have worked really hard."
Chahar was then rested for the 2nd ODI and came back into the side for 3rd having an ordinary game where he picked 2/75 from his full quota of overs.
The real question in front of the selectors is whether Deepak Chahar should be there on the plane for ICC World T20 2022 that is set to take place in Australia later this year.
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Let’s argue the case both for and against the inclusion of Chahar in India’s squad for World T20 2022.
Why Chahar should be traveling with the squad for World T20?
India have a problem on hand at this moment as they sweat on the fitness status of their premier fast bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel. While both of them have been ruled out of the forthcoming Asia Cup, there is a chance that the Rohit Sharma-led India side will have to go down under without the services of both of them.
There is talk that selection committee will lean towards Mohammed Shami who may make a comeback to the T20I side in case either of Bumrah or Harshal getting ruled out of the World T20 in Australia.
This makes the availability of a players like Deepak Chahar even more crucial. He has the ability to swing the new ball and has improved a great deal at the death while playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Moreover, he is a like to like replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and is also a more than capable batter down the order.
Like Bhuvi, Deepak Chahar has the ability to give early breakthroughs in the first 6 overs and it will allow India to have a potent bowling pair both in the powerplay as well as in the death overs (Bhuvneshwar/Bumrah/Harshal), provided both of them are back by then. Even without Bumrah/ Harshal, we have seen how handful in the death Arshdeep Singh can be in his young international career and in IPL.
So, there will be a problem of plenty and the skipper Rohit Sharma will be happy to have several options in his arsenal.
Moreover, Chahar has been prolific for India in the shortest format of the game as well having picked 26 scalps in 20 games at an ER of 8.27. He holds the 2nd best figures in T20I cricket (6/7) which he took against Bangladesh in 2019.
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Why Deepak Chahar is not an ideal choice for World T20 2022?
While the points mentioned above does present a positive case for Chahar to be included in the squad, one has to consider the fact his style of bowling is not suited for places like Australia. One would need a seam bowler who can hit the deck hard and not just a swing bowler who may become an easy target at the death.
Bhuvi’s candidature will make it tougher for Chahar to get a nod for the World Cup and he may count himself lucky if he does get picked in the 15-member touring party or even in the reserves. Chahar’s tendency to get injured often may also go against his selection for the marquee event.
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