Deepak Chahar's Absence From First ODI Leaves Fans Scratching Their Heads
Deepak Chahar wasn't picked in India's playing XI for the first ODI against South Africa. Earlier, in the T20I series against the Proteas, Chahar was arguably India's top-performing pacer.
One of the finest new ball bowlers in white-ball cricket at the moment, Depak Chahar has become an extremely important player for the Men in Blue over the past couple of years. Rated extremely highly in the Indian cricketing fraternity for his ability to swing the ball both ways, yet Chahar wasn't picked in the Indian team for the first ODI against South Africa on Thursday.
Chahar's omission left many fans baffled as the seamer was expected to lead the Indian bowling unit in the opening ODI against the Proteas in Lucknow. In the absence of senior players like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India had to field some lesser-experienced faces in the team.
Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Shardul Thakur were preferred in the pace-bowling unit, while Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav got the nod as spinners. While the likes of Siraj, Avesh, Shardul and Deepak are similar to each other in terms of experience, it's Chahar's ability to swing the ball that separates him from the rest.
With the weather conditions in Lucknow being overcast on the day, Chahar could've been a potent option to pick wickets upfront. Some fans even pointed out the same on Twitter. Here are some tweets:
Very Disappointed to not see Deepak Chahar in playing XI— Cricket Fan (@sangwancricket) October 6, 2022
I know they want to keep him fit but could have rested him in 2nd ODI
Deepak chahar is a must in overcast conditions
Some other fans believed that Siraj isn't a part of the team in the first ODI probably because he is being used cautiously ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022 where he could replace the injured Jasprit Bumrah in India's 15-man squad. Chahar is already among the stand-by players
It isn't just quality swing bowling that Chahar brings to the table. The 29-year-old is also quite handy with the bat. In fact, in his ODI and T20I career, Chahar averages 60 and 53 respectively while also striking at a healthy rate of 101.69 and 203.85 respectively.