The focus shifted from red to white ball as the IPL was an easier route to Indian colors: Deepak Chahar

VISAKHAPATNAM: An amazing candidate Deepak Chahar | on Tuesday he said he understood early in his career that his focus shifted to white ball cricket and IPL the fastest and easiest route to the dressing room of India.

Agra-based Chahar started with a brilliant 8 for 10 with him Ranji Trophy debuted against Hyderabad, but for all practical purposes, knowing that a speed of 125 kmph with a red ball would take him anywhere near international cricket.

When I changed my pace to gain speed, I struggled with my state team. Now all of a sudden, I found my road to entry into the Indian team very difficult. If I had to take the Ranji route, then I would have to play more matches, play an entire first-class season, play the Duleep Trophy. That's a longer road, Chahar says, with refreshing honesty as he enters.

But if you do well in IPL, then you can quickly play for India and during that phase of my career, I decided to concentrate on white ball cricket, Chahar, who is an automatic choice in T20 cricket now, said ahead of India's second ODI against the West Indies.

The medium pacer came into India reckoning after two seasons with IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings .

The most remarkable aspect of a contact with Chahar is his clarity about his shortcomings and what he is doing to improve them.

"When I came to the Ranji Trophy , I used to bowl 125 kmph. My struggle with injuries was due to my efforts to increase pace. Because I knew that I won't be able to survive with that kind of pace at the international level. I had to increase it close to 140 clicks and get it to swing.

A swinging delivery at 135 to 137 kmph is the hardest delivery for any batsman. I can couch that even 150 km on a flat track can be easier to handle.

As the focus shifted to becoming a good white ball bowler, Chahar realized that swinging a white ball was twice as difficult as a red ball.

A red ball will even (invert) swing if it is glossy on one side. So, at Ranji level, many bowlers can move the ball the same way. On the white ball, the swing is not due to the brightness (of the lacquer). It came from acting. So I also worked and increased my speed.

I have a great slow bouncer and I work with my yorker. Now I trust that even if I am hit by two sixes, I can wash a yorker.

The confidence came under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership at the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the 2019 IPL season.

Before the 2019 IPL, I prepared a bowling lot on Chennai track. Since I bowl three overs in Powerplay for CSK, and if you don't have a yorker at the Chepauk, where the ball doesn't swing, it will be difficult . But I can get even better.

Chahar was just two of the ODIs but he met his weak spot in this format, which was bowling in the second Powerplay, when there were only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle.

ODI is the most difficult format. In the T20s, what you are looking to do is escape without being hit. So, if you haven't taken wickets yet but you have 0/24 numbers in 4 overs, that's perfect. In Test match, it is the opposite. You should attack, can go for runs but also take wickets.

But ODIs are a mix of both where you have to be tight as well as take wickets. Read the situations carefully. It helped that I played a lot of List games for India A and understood how to bowl the second Powerplay. Earlier, I couldn't figure out how I could fit a batsman in the middle overs. I can learn a lot as I play more.

So what was his line of thought during the second Powerplay?

What I'm thinking is that you only had two fielders out of the circle during the first Powerplay, it seemed easier when there were two more. And with that you also need diversity in death. It is not always easy to manage everything.

Asked what a reliable target this track is, Chahar replied: I think we have a par-score in Chennai and we bow down badly. I hope we do not repeat the mistakes we have made.

I can't as a bowler always ask batsmen to give me 350 runs to defend. 288 are defending Chennai. I think we need to win matches too.

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