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Mock test helps Rahul Chahar in exam


Express News Service

CHENNAI: When Rahul Chahar was introduced in the ninth over of the Kolkata Knight Riders innings, Mumbai Indians were already looking at a face-saving exercise. Defending 152, Kolkata were 62 for no loss. Needing just 91 from 72 balls, Chahar was almost introduced as an afterthought. And his first four balls were uninspiring. Shubman Gill had scored two boundaries and his figures read 10 runs from balls. That’s when the spinner came into his own. A quicker, fuller ball followed and Gill wanted to deposit it beyond the boundary. The end result? A simple catch to Kieron Pollard at long off. 

Rahul Chahar

Over the leg-spinner’s next three overs, he turned the match on his head. After he accounted for Rahul Tripathi in his second over, he removed Eoin Morgan in his third before removing the set batsman Nitish Rana in his final over. In all his 24 balls, went for 27 runs and four wickets. Talk about making an impact.When other bowlers struggled with the pressure, the 21-year-old knew what was expected of him and delivered when Rohit Sharma turned to his lead spinner on a pitch that was offering turn. Chahar, who has played a few T20Is, said his work at the nets helped, especially when it came to dealing with pressure.

“I am used to bowling to top India players in the nets, so the pressure is less in a match. So there was nothing much going in my mind. This is my fourth year with MI, I have been bowling to the likes of Pollard and Hardik Pandya who are considered to be among the world’s best hitters. So I don’t feel much pressure,” revealed Chahar. Bowling to some of the biggest hitters in the nets helps because you are used to coming up with tactics to counter them on a regular basis. 

This was an observation made former India spinner M Venkataramana. “Rahul was impressive against KKR. He bowled with lot of confidence. The wicket at Chepauk helps spinners in general and Rahul used the surface and conditions to his advantage. His main strength is the control he has over the ball. Plus he does not get rattled while bowling to big names. I am sure if he bowls in the same manner in the tournament he will be in contention for place in the T20 World cup squad.’’

Plus when you are in a franchise like Mumbai, a team that’s known to nurture players, you know the captain will always have your back. “He (Rohit Sharma) told me to bowl with confidence as he felt I was bowling well. He said sometimes even he was not able to understand my variations in the nets. He said they (KKR batters) would also feel the same way,” revealed Chahar.

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