When you talk about fast bowlers, the things that come to our mind is that they are outspoken, aggressive, has a wild celebration, gives eye to batters, sledges them. This has been the typical plot but the Indian pacers seldom fell into this category. Of course, there are exceptions like Sreesanth. Now, one cannot classify Chahar as a pacer. He is more of a medium-fast kind of bowler who depends on the swing rather than the pace.
Swinging a delivery is an art. It doesn’t happen for everyone. It goes horribly wrong if you don’t pitch it right. Sometimes, wide. Sometimes, in the batters’ zone. For Chahar, it’s more of a go-to, a day-in-day-out kind of delivery. With the perfect speed, Chahar does make us all drool with the way he swings the ball.
Mayank Agarwal would’ve enjoyed the dismissal if he wasn’t at the receiving end today. The first ball saw a bit of a moment and the second was back of a length out-swinger which caught Rahul’s inside edge. The third one was a bit out of the plot which Agarwal sent to the point. As he gets ready, he saw the delivery pitching in the middle, not so full but fuller than a good length, Agarwal was through his shot, found his off-stump bails flying. Probably, he would’ve expected the delivery to be faster. It was around 132 kmph which worked well for Chahar.
The plot varies for Chris Gayle. As Gayle comes in, the slip was placed immediately and Chahar welcomed him with a yorker followed by the one that swung away. Gayle almost got himself out if not for Gaikwad’s big heart to give him another chance. Of course, was tough but not up to Gaikwad’s standards.
Now, everyone knows what happens if one gives Gayle another chance. Back to back boundaries in the next over. One was stylish while the other was an edge.
After Rahul’s dismissal, a huge responsibility was on Gayle’s shoulder. Of course, he can take the match away from opponents with ease and when one thought that it could be his day, Chahar and Jadeja had different plans.
Bowling all his four overs inside powerplay is more of a habit for Chahar these days. He even plans for the match keeping in mind that there will be only two fielders outside the inner circle. However, for a bowler, this shouldn’t be enough. He must be ready to bowl anywhere.
Chahar is a clever bowler. He knows he cannot afford to be one-dimensional. What if the ball refuses to swing? What if his speed becomes easier for the batters to score runs? One sure cannot survive this way.
So, Chahar added a few variations. He slowly began to erase the ‘powerplay specialist’ tag or to add more tags after his name. One such innovation is knuckleball and the other is the slower bouncer.
Coming back to the match. He has better plans for Gayle this time. An outside off delivery, knuckleball variation. Gayle was quick into his shot, driving it near Jadeja. The latter dives to take a stunner. Well, a stunner for most but a regular catch for Jadeja.
The plan for Pooran was very clear. Short. At the body. The first one goes a bit off-side which Pooran let go. The next one, short again, was at the body and Pooran decides to pull. A no-look pull from Pooran. Thakur was all set to take an easy catch at the long leg.
Chahar comes back for his next over. This time it’s Hooda. He didn’t even have to try hard this time. It was a regular swinging delivery, pitched on the seam outside off. Hooda was quicker to the shot and was a regular catch to Faf du Plessis. This is probably the easiest dismissal of all.
He gave his performance a brilliant finish, a maiden. 4-1-13-4.
Every time Chahar achieves something special like this, it takes one back to how he had to fight his luck to come this far. His body has been his own enemy most of the times to abandon the opportunities from his lap. His luck was so bad that once he earned spit webbing for trying to take a pretty ordinary catch. If was there, here is another- Once he was named in the Board President’s XI squad for the warm-up matches against New Zealand. BCCI called it an “inadvertent” error, went on to pick Rahul Chahar instead.
Chahar has come this far and he knows, plays every single game as his last one because of the competition in the country today. Maybe, the thought brings the best out of him. Well, that’s one way of self-motivation.