From IPL to T20I selection – Rahul Chahar’s phenomenal journey

Rahul Chahar will be turning 20 on 4th August. By the time, he may already have played his first T20I for India. For a boy, who played his first T20 match just two years ago, this is a miraculous achievement.

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IPL – start and stop

Chahar’s first T20 game was in the IPL 2017 for Rising Pune Supergiants. His maiden wicket on debut was of Hashim Amla. He played only one other game and accounted for Brendon McCullum. His performances were good enough to attract other franchises and Mumbai Indians pocketed him for 1.9 crores in the 2018 IPL. However, he did not play a single game that season.

Domestic performance to the rescue

Coming back to the Indian domestic circuit, the leg-spinner impressed with his white-ball skills. He emerged as the leading wicket-taker in 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy for Rajasthan. Chahar took 20 wickets in nine games, 10 more than any of his teammates. He was third-highest wicket-taker in the 50-over tournament. The sterling performance helped him get a preference in the IPL and that’s where the magic happened.

The IPL star

Mumbai Indians employed Chahar as the primary spinner in IPL 2019. His spell of 2/21 against Sunrisers Hyderabad was crucial and he peaked in the middle of the tournament. Chahar took two successive three-wicket hauls against Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals respectively. The leg-spinner ended up with 13 wickets in the tournament.

Putting up A show

Chahar followed his IPL success with extra-ordinary showing against Sri Lanka A side. In two first-class matches, the leggie snared 14 wickets and contributed with the bat as well. This helped his subsequent selection on the Caribbean tour for India A. His six wickets from three limited-overs games proved enough to confirm his India selection. He has now been selected in India’s T20I squad alongside his cousin pace bowler Deepak Chahar.