Deepak Chahar, who's likely to be a part of India's tour of Sri Lanka, has asserted that the second-string Indian side is as strong as the first-choice side. He added that a senior player like Shikhar Dhawan should be made India's captain and expressed his desire to play Tests for the country.
India's much talked about bench strength came to the fore in Australia, earlier this year, when in absence of a plethora of first-choice players, they sealed an incredible Test series win. And now India's bench strength is again likely to make waves when they tour Sri Lanka in July, a tour that won't feature several first-choice players as most of them will be busy preparing for the five-match Test series in England.
It will give many fringe players a chance to shine at the highest level and further their case for the Indian selection as the series will serve as an audition for the T20 World Cup that would take place this year. Deepak Chahar, who's likely to be a key part of the side that travels to Sri Lanka, has stated that the second-string Indian side is as strong as the main side.
"I am all set for the Sri Lanka tour. I bowled well in the IPL. I was in good touch. I am excited to play in Sri Lanka. In my opinion, experience gives you a lot of confidence. I have experience now and I am confident of a good showing in Sri Lanka. I am sure we will emerge victorious against Sri Lanka. Our second-string team is looking as strong as the main team. We have a lot of options," Chahar told TimesofIndia.com.
With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul named in India’s Test squad, the Lanka series will either see Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya captaining the side, with the former likely to take over the charge, owing to his seniority and prior experience in leadership. Chahar also reckons that someone like Dhawan should captain the side as players would respect a senior guy like him.
"Shikhar bhai will be a good choice (for captain). He has been playing for a long time and has a lot of experience. For me, a senior person should become a captain. Because players see that player as a senior and respect him and obey him with honesty. Players should respect their captain. He (Dhawan) will be a good choice."
Deepak Chahar is one of the best swing bowlers in the country at the moment. He expressed his desire to play the longer format for India as he feels he can swing the red ball well.
“Playing Test cricket is my ultimate dream. I know how to swing the ball and swinging conditions favour me a lot. The (Test) team is going to England. I wish them all the best. Bowling in English conditions has its own charm."
"I have played in England and I have enjoyed bowling there. I am sure the selectors will give me a chance someday. I have played T20Is and ODIs and I have to prove myself a lot in these two formats and I hope I make it to the Test team someday. I look forward to playing Tests for the country."
Chahar had a great 2021 IPL and was able to make early in-roads for his side consistently. He talked about MS Dhoni's influence on him while playing for Chennai Super Kings and how he trusts him with the new ball.
"Mahi bhai has made me a powerplay bowler. He always says 'you are my powerplay bowler'. He, most of the time, gives me the first over of the match. I have been scolded by him a lot (laughs), but I know those talks and that guidance has benefitted me a lot as well and helped me grow as a bowler. He (Dhoni) knows his players well and he uses them wisely. He knows who is good at the death, who is good in the powerplay and who is good in the middle overs," he said.