CHENNAI: There was an unusual sight on display at MA Chidambaram Stadium’s nets on Wednesday, a day before Team Rajasthan’s Vijay Hazare Trophy opener.
After a bowling session, the Chahar brothers — Deepak and Rahul — padded up to bat. While Deepak tried to hit the ball hard, Rahul defended as many as possible. It was the elder, though, who caught the eyes. After practice, Deepak even had a discussion with his team manager to get his bat fine-tuned.
After making his T20I debut in England in July, the 26-year-old looks more confident. He is now keen to to become an all-rounder from a pace bowler before West Indies comes to India.
“I want to be looked at as a new-ball bowler, and also as a player who can chip in with some runs in the lower order. During IPL, (MS) Dhoni bhai used to tell me that I can become a better batsman. When you hear this from someone like that, you start believing in your abilities. I want to make use my chances here to prove that I can bat.”
Deepak admits that fitness has been a priority for him, considering his recent workload. After an IPL title-run with Chennai Super Kings, he was also a part of the limited-over leg of India A’s tour of England.
He also turned out for the same side in one of their two four-day clashes against Australia, before again turning out for them during their quadrangular series last month.
“After the England T20s, I was at National Cricket Academy for four weeks. I had an issue with my hamstring. But the main issue was we had back-to-back matches after Syed Mushtaq Ali in January. We played 15 matches in 20 days. Even during the IPL, I was rested for a couple of matches. Then we had the India A series. When you play all formats, you need more energy as a fast bowler. My immediate target is to remain fit. This is to make sure that I’m ready for selection.”
Also, during his short T20 stint in England, Deepak used the experience he gleaned from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to overcome his shortcomings.
“Even though I can move the ball, I have found it a bit difficult to bowl to left-handers. Bhuvi bhai’s insights helped me with that.”