Rahul Chahar, who bagged the Man of the Match award versus KKR for bowling a remarkable spell, revealed that he targeted Shubman Gill’s weakness and kept tossing the ball, knowing very well that the right-hander would eventually falter. The ploy worked like a charm as Gill holed out to long off.
At 62/0 after 8 overs chasing 153, Kolkata Knight Riders looked like they were on course to finishing the contest with a handful of overs to spare, and Shubman Gill smashing Rahul Chahar for a four and a six in the first four balls of the 9th over reiterated the same. But while a vast majority of the spinners, after being taken to the cleaners, would have instantly gone defensive, Chahar kept tossing the ball up deliberately in order to invoke a false shot from the batsman. The ploy paid rich dividends as Gill, on ball five, holed out to Kieron Pollard at long-off, trying to clear the ropes for a second time in the over.
On the first look, it seemed like the batsman erred, but in the post-match presentation, young Chahar gave a sneak peek into his clever yet cunning mind. Chahar revealed that he knew Gill’s game in and out, and so deliberately kept tossing the ball up, knowing very well that the right-hander was incapable of going ‘bang-bang’ on a consistent basis.
“There was pressure when they started well and a spinner had to pull it back. I enjoyed Tripathi's wicket. I was confident in my abilities as I have been playing the IPL for 2-3 years. I know Gill well, and I also know he can't keep hitting me out of the park on a regular basis. I can spin at 90 kph and that's my strength,” Chahar said in the post-match presentation.
Gill’s wicket came in Chahar’s first over, but remarkably the leg-spinner took a wicket in each of his next three overs to finish with impeccable figures of 4/27. The fourth and the final wicket was that of a well-set Nitish Rana, and Chahar revealed that, like Gill, he laid out a trap for the left-hander.
“I had an idea about Nitish walking down the track, so I bowled a flipper outside off on the last ball of my spell,” Chahar revealed.
Chahar has been a huge success in Mumbai thanks to his quality, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of his skipper, Rohit Sharma. Last season, Rohit made the young leggie lead the team to the dressing room after he’d been carted around in the Qualifier versus Delhi, and yesterday, once again, the MI skipper backed Chahar to deliver the goods despite the odds being stacked against the youngster. Chahar asserted that he thrives in Mumbai simply because the skipper has never-ending confidence in him.
“My confidence is sometimes down, but Rohit shows confidence in me to lift me up. Mumbai Indians takes care of its players during the off season as well, and that's why it is such a special franchise.”