Aakash Chopra has stated that Rahul Chahar can push his case for T20 World Cup selection by performing in the IPL after the leg-spinner impressed everyone with his bowling performance in Sri Lanka. Chopra also thinks that Chahar can pair with Yuzvendra Chahal as India’s second spinner.
The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side lost the T20I series 1-2 against Sri Lanka on Thursday after they were restricted to their third-lowest innings total of 81/8 at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Despite the collective dismal performance by the team, a highlight for India was leg-spinner Rahul Chahar’s magnificent spell of 3/15 that delayed Sri Lanka’s chase till the 15th over.
The 21-year-old got the wicket of Sri Lanka opener Avishka Fernando in his first over, taking a return catch off his short-length delivery to give India a breakthrough, and in his next over, using his leg-break, the spinner trapped Minod Bhanuka leg-before.
Chahar’s leg-spinner then crashed onto the stumps of Sadeera Samarawickrama as he picked his third wicket of the game, but it wasn’t enough as India failed to defend their paltry score. It was the best performance by any Indian spinner across the six games, and Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra is of the opinion that if Chahar continues to impress with his bowling performance in the IPL, then he might be selected for India in the T20 World Cup squad, paired alongside Chahal.
“Chahar bowls with a lot of confidence and is incisive and accurate. He bowls quick through the air and the ball often zips past the batsman on pitching. From his action, it seems like he is bowling a googly when he is actually delivering a leg-spinner. He has got this mystery about him and variations, which remind me a little about Rashid Khan. If he does well in the IPL, Team India will be tempted to play him in the T20 World Cup along with Chahal,” Chopra said on his YouTube Channel.
Chahar, who made his international debut against England in the shortest format in March, has so far played five T20Is and one ODI, making his 50-over debut in the final ODI against Sri Lanka where he scalped three wickets. Yuzvendra Chahal has been India’s frontline spinner in white-ball affairs over the last few years but Chopra believes that Chahar can cement his position in the Indian team if he continues being sharp with the ball.
“Rahul Chahar doesn’t play regularly in the Team India squad since Yuzvendra Chahal is the No. 1 leg-spinner. Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar are also other spin options Team India have. Varun Chakravarthy is also trying to make a name as a mystery spinner. But Chahar has grabbed every opportunity that has come his way to play for Team India,” Chopra said.
Having picked 11 wickets from seven matches, Chahar currently is Mumbai Indians’ highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021.