India vs Sri Lanka: Chahar reveals Dravid's encouraging words after heroic 69 in 2nd ODI
- Deepak Chahar remained 69 not out in 2nd ODI
- He also picked two wickets in the game
- India sealed the series 2-0
When Chahar walked in to bat ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar at No. 7 during the second One-Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka, many eyebrows were raised. But it turned out that it was a very calculated move from India head coach Dravid.
When Chahar walked in to bat on Wednesday, during India's chase of 276 in the second ODI in Colombo, the visitors needed another 116 runs from 23 overs. The 28-year-old remained not out on 69 off 82 balls as India sealed the game by three wickets and gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Chahar struck seven fours and a six in his Player of the Match knock as India won the game with five balls to spare.
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player produced a terrific all-round performance as he had picked two wickets as well in the first innings.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Chahar said, "It was hot there, we did well there. I got two wickets. We managed to stop them at 270. It was a decent score [to chase] on this wicket."
He went on to admit that he had been dreaming of playing an innings like this. "Only one thing that was going on in my mind: this is the kind of innings I've been dreaming of. No better way to win the match for the country. Rahul sir told me to play all the balls.
I've played a few innings with India A and I think he has belief in me. He told me he thinks I'm good enough to be a No. 7. He has belief in me. Hopefully, in the coming matches I don't have to bat. When we came under 50 is when I believed we can win. Before that, it was ball by ball. I took some risks after," added Chahar.
India captain Shikhar Dhawan also heaped praise on Chahar, saying they knew the latter had worked hard on his batting. "We knew that Chahar has worked hard in the nets on his batting. His presence of mind and calculations against the leg-spinner were amazing. Both Bhuvi and him calculated it really well," said Dhawan after India's win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
In both the innings, India found themselves struggling at a point before a collective effort saw them bounce back every time. After opting to bat in the second ODI, Sri Lana were off to a great start. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar, who opened the bowling for India, turned out to be expensive as Sri Lanka zoomed away to 75 for no less in 13 overs.
During the chase, at 160 for 6, India were struggling in the game before the young players stepped up. Dhawan also hailed the young Indian side, saying they all showed character.
"I felt that the wicket today was much better and we restricted them to a good score. The spinners fought back and the bowlers adjusted their line and lengths when their batsmen were in. We didn't start well and it is a good learning lesson for the youngsters that everyday is not the same. They will understand how to handle these situations and how to bring in new strategies. The way Manish Pandey and Suryakumar were batting, we thought they would take us home. Hard luck to Pandey for the way he got out. The way Krunal fought in the middle was amazing. Everyone showed character," added Dhawan.
The third and final ODI between India and Sri Lanka is scheduled to be played on Friday (July 23) in Colombo.