With the 50-over World Cup concluded, the Indian team management is now focusing on preparing a squad for the T20 World Cup to be held next year in Australia. To that end, the team is auditioning a few bowlers who could partner Jasprit Bumrah at the mega event.
Deepak Chahar has been on the fringes of the Indian cricket team for some time now. Although the player was decent in the domestic competitions the last two seasons, his presence in the Indian team was limited due to the squad's preparation for the 50-over World Cup.
However, with the completion of the World Cup, the onus is now on building a strong squad for the future and hence we could see a lot of debutants in the coming months playing for the Indian team.
Although all these players deserve a few games to prove themselves, here are three reasons why Deepak Chahar must be given a long rope in the team.
#3 Power-play specialist
A vital element of Chahar's bowling is the swing he can generate at the start of the innings. He can swing the ball in either direction, and that is particularly dangerous when the batsman is starting out at the crease.
This has often resulted in wickets, the latest example being his three-wicket spell against West Indies in the 3rd game of the T20 series. That performance was not a one-off; the right-arm bowler has been one of the best pacers in the last two seasons of the Indian Premier League.
Apart from ODIs and T20s, Chahar could also be an asset in Tests. If he can develop a few more variations, he could turn out to be an important part of the Indian team in the future.
#2 A handy lower order batsman
As seen in the IPL, Chahar is also a decent lower-order batsman. He can strike a few balls out of the park and with the current Indian squad having a long tail, Chahar could be a good fit at No. 8 or No. 9.
In all three forms of the game, Team India requires bowlers who are capable of hanging out for a few overs in the middle. This aspect becomes very important in close games and apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no other player in the current squad seem to have this ability.
Chahar can solve this issue and allow the team to take games closer instead of giving up when the 7th wicket falls.
#1 The perfect successor to Bhuvneshwar Kumar
India's fast bowling attack looks a little one-dimensional at the moment. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar has forged a formidable partnership with Jasprit Bumrah, his inconsistency could be a matter of concern in the future.
In overseas conditions when the ball is moving, the team is over-reliant on Bhuvneshwar to make use of the conditions on offer. But even if Bhuvi does well, another similar type of bowler in the squad could help the team grab more wickets upfront.
Deepak Chahar fits this bill perfectly, and the team can also afford to leave out Bhuvi by having the former in the team. Just like Bhuvneshwar, Chahar is a good reader of match situations and pitch conditions, which allows him to adapt quickly to varying demands.
Bhuvneshwar is still an important member of the team, but including Chahar along with him in the team might help in the latter's development.