India and Chennai Super Kings seamer Deepak Chahar recently recalled the time when MS Dhoni let him bat ahead of him. The right-arm bowler remembered scoring some runs in the team’s winning cause, thereby highlighting their depth.
The aforementioned fixture was the one between the Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 edition of the tournament. Chasing a modest 154, the management promoted Chahar to No. 6. He blasted 39 off 20 deliveries, while Dhoni came in next as CSK won by five wickets.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, the 31-year-old said that such depth gives them balance and flexibility:
“That was the only game where Mahi bhai [Dhoni] gave me batting before him and I scored some runs in that game. And we won that game.
“It has been good for the team because we haven’t needed my batting. Mahi bhai 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].”
Chahar continued highlighting how CSK used their batting depth in the second phase of IPL 2021 to score 156-8 despite being 24-4 in 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 [Indians]. We were 40 for 4 [24 for 4], I think, and from there we ended up scoring 160 runs.
“Rutu [Ruturaj 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.”
The aforementioned fixture saw Ruturaj Gaikwad stay unbeaten on 88 and put on 81 off 64 deliveries with Ravindra Jadeja. The Yellow Army eventually won by 20 runs.
“This is the right time for me to increase my pace” – Deepak Chahar
Chahar further said that he hopes to get into the 2018 phase when his speeds were regularly 140 kmph.
“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.”
The Agra-born cricketer revealed working on his power-hitting for death overs ahead of IPL 2024.
“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.”
IPL 2024 is likely to begin on March 22 as CSK look to defend their title.