Rajasthan leg-spinner Rahul Chahar expressed delight over making a comeback to the national side but insisted that his ultimate goal is to represent the country in all three formats. Chahar, who impressed in IPL 2020, further stated that he is confident about Mumbai winning a hat-trick of titles.
Rahul Chahar burst onto the world cricket scene as a 17-year-old in the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League, representing the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise, and since then the leg-spinner has overseen his career endure steady progress. After being purchased by Mumbai Indians in the 2018 mega auction, Chahar had his breakthrough season in 2019, picking 13 wickets, but in IPL 2020 the youngster established himself as one of the best spinners in the competition, picking 15 wickets and proving to be a vital cog in a star-studded Mumbai line-up.
The 15-wicket haul in IPL 2020 meant Chahar, who made his T20I debut in 2019, getting a recall to the T20I side, but the 21-year-old is hungry for bigger honours. Speaking ahead of the 2021 season, Chahar asserted that he wishes to become an all-format player for India national side.
"I made a comeback to the Indian side after almost one and a half years. It felt really good to be a part of the team once again. The wait was a long one. I worked a lot on my bowling. I worked on certain areas. I want to be consistent and play as long as possible for my team. I want to play all three formats for India,” Chahar told TOI.
“I want to give credit to my tau ji (uncle) and Zaheer sir. Zaheer sir has played a big role in taking my game to the next level. He understands me and my bowling really well. He always gives me advice and tips.”
The last six months have been special for Chahar who, apart from winning the IPL title, saw himself play in two crunch matches for the Indian national side, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. The younger Chahar is, in fact, one of the very few lucky players to have had the opportunity to play under the captaincy of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, and the young leg-spinner asserted that both are extremely encouraging, world-class leaders in their own way.
"The best quality in Rohit bhaiya and Virat bhaia is that they show trust and confidence in me and other bowlers. Your confidence is sky high when your captain backs you, especially in crunch situations.
"When I was playing for India, Virat bhaia used to come and tell me the areas where I should be pitching the ball. He said you are a good bowler and all you need to do is hit certain areas. At Mumbai Indians, Rohit bhaiya always says 'tu pakka wicket lega' (You will surely take a wicket). Both Virat bhaiya and Rohit bhaiya give me confidence. That's the best quality in them. Even if you are being hit by the batsmen, both of them will back you.
"We always watch videos of batsmen and make plans. Rohit bhaiya comes and discusses the plans after watching the videos and tells me the areas I should be bowling in,” the 21-year-old said.
At the age of 21, Chahar already has two IPL titles to his name and the youngster is certain that the count will be three by the end of May. Speaking about Mumbai’s chances in IPL 2021, the leg-spinner asserted with confidence that ‘Rohit bhaiya will hit a sixer of titles’ and claimed that he is certain that Mumbai will end up as champions for a third season running.
"I am confident that Mumbai Indians will clinch their sixth title. The way the boys are performing and are in form, especially Rohit bhaiya (Rohit Sharma), Hardik (Pandya), Krunal, Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) and Ishan Kishan, the side is looking very strong and are the favourites to win the sixth title and the third in a row. I am sure Rohit bhaiya will hit a sixer of titles this time.”