'Only time I batted above MSD' - CSK all-rounder comments recall IPL 2018 game
Deepak Chahar hasn’t played any competitive cricket since 1st December, 2023. But he is preparing to make a comeback in IPL 2024 for Chennai Super Kings. Chahar has been one of the CSK’s premier bowlers in the IPL. Not only his bowling, Chahar has played some useful cameos with the bat too. Recently, the fast bowler spoke to ESPN Cricinfo about batting above MS Dhoni in a game.
"It has been good for the team because we haven't needed my batting. Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) himself bats at No. 8 and I bat at No. 9 and you know that gives a lot of balance to the team and see the batters before us having this (depth). That was the only game where Mahi bhai gave me batting before him and I scored some runs in that game. And we won that game.” Chahar said.
In the match mentioned above, CSK were chasing 154 against Kings XI Punjab. Chahar was promoted to bat at No. 6 above MS Dhoni and he scored 39 from just 20 balls. This turned the game towards the Super Kings and they won the match by 5 wickets.
Deepak Chahar also spoke about doing strength training that can help him increase his pace. He adds, "When I played in 2018, I was nearly bowling around 140ks. When you're playing regularly you don't get the chance to do strength training and your pace comes down. This is the right time for me to increase my pace. Skill-wise, I've obviously been doing well with batting and bowling."
Chahar about CSK’s batting depth
Chennai Super Kings are always known for their batting depth. Chahar mentioned how their long batting line-up helped them post a decent total despite once being four down in the powerplay. "I can give you an example of one game. It was the first game in Dubai after Covid. The first game was against Mumbai. We were 40-4 (24-4), I think, and from there we ended up scoring 160 runs,” Chahar added.
"Rutu (Gaikwad) and Jadeja were playing, and they started hitting from the 14th over. Other teams won't do that because they don't have that depth in their batting," Chahar says.
The right-arm quick also spoke about adding different shots to his batting repertoire, which can be useful in death overs. "So, I'm trying to develop a few shots with the bat too, because when you bat at No. 8 or No. 9, you only get to play three-four balls. So, you have to utilise those balls with different shots."
Chahar missed the South Africa tour and the Afghanistan T20Is because his father was not well. IPL 2024 provides him an opportunity to stake a claim in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup 2024.