Cricket

Mumbai Indian’s Rahul Chahar — finding his spot on the big stage

Spinning a web: Rahul Chahar has been able to absorb pressure, is mentally tough and very accurate, according to Mumbai Indians talent scout Abey Kuruvilla.

Spinning a web: Rahul Chahar has been able to absorb pressure, is mentally tough and very accurate, according to Mumbai Indians talent scout Abey Kuruvilla.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

IPL performance for Mumbai Indians earns the leg-spinner the right to wear India colours.

Rajasthan’s Rahul Chahar, just a few days from turning 20, is the latest leg-spinner to break into the India team.

Five months ago, Punjab’s 21-year-old Mayank Markande made his India debut in the T20 against Australia in Visakhapatnam. Markande was given the chance after his 14-match appearance for Mumbai Indians in IPL Season-11.

And now, Chahar, after 13 matches for Mumbai Indians in IPL Season-12, has won a call-up for the three-match T20 series against the West Indies. Chahar was MI’s main spinner taking 13 wickets at an economy rate well under seven.

Mumbai Indians can take credit for spotting talent in both Markande and Chahar and bring them onto the T20 stage where batsmen rule the roost.

After Yuzvendra Chahal (31 matches/46 wkts) and Kuldeep Yadav’s (18/35) success, Indian cricket is looking more at wrist-spin options. India’s previous leg-spinners for T20 Internationals were Amit Mishra (10 matches/16 wkts), Piyush Chawla (7/4), Rahul Sharma (2/3), Karn Sharma (1/1) and Sachin Tendulkar (1/1).

Together they have accounted for 106 wickets at 18.34 and an economy rate of a little over seven.

Former India seamer and MI talent scout Abey Kuruvilla feels the ideal situation would be to perform in First Class cricket and impress the selectors. He cited Anil Kumble as an example.

Talking about wrist spinners getting an early break and also of Rahul Chahar he said: “Leg-spinners bring in the novelty factor and wicket-taking ability. The finger spinners are vanishing in this format given the smaller boundaries and heavy bats. IPL is a high-pressure competition and Chahar has been able to absorb pressure; he’s mentally tough and very accurate.”

In all 28 leg-spinners — specialists, part-time and casual — have bowled for India in Test cricket, and 15 in ODIs. Most of them found their way into the Indian team through First Class cricket (Ranji, Duleep, Irani Trophy matches). These days the IPL has become the express lane for leg-spinners.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:10:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/mumbai-indians-rahul-chahar-finding-his-spot-on-the-big-stage/article28691676.ece

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