Deepak Chahar shows willingness to adapt as he stakes his claim for India T20 role

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Deepak Chahar is making his case for India.

India’s preparations for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia have already started in earnest with the Men in Blue dispatching South Africa with ease in the first of the three scheduled T20s between the two sides on Wednesday.

While an unbeaten 72 from skipper Virat Kohli’s led India’s charge with the bat against the Proteas, it was Deepak Chahar who was the chief architect of the win with ball in hand at Dharamsala.

Playing in only his second T20I for India, the 27-year-old seamer bagged the crucial wickets of Reeza Hendricks and the well-set Temba Bavuma to finish with excellent figures of 2-22 from his four overs.

Chahar’s fine display against South Africa adds to his excellent showing against the West Indies at Providence last month where he delivered a man-of-the-match display in the final T20. The seamer picked up three wickets in as many overs in the clash while conceding a miserly four runs to set up a comprehensive seven-wicket win for India.

With five wickets in his last two appearances, Chahar is well on his way to confirming his ticket to Australia for the T20 World Cup and he will be hoping to build further on his impressive form in the coming months.

Chahar has been around the Indian domestic circuit for some time now after announcing himself as an 18-year-old prodigy for Rajasthan in 2010. Then, the seamer returned with sensational figures of 8-10 on his Ranji Trophy debut to help Rajasthan bowl out Hyderabad for just 21 runs.

With his natural ability to seam the ball both ways, Chahar quickly established himself as a menacing red-ball bowler with his maiden Ranji season for Rajasthan resulting in a total of 30 wickets.

However, a spate of injuries took its toll on Chahar in the years to follow and the result is that he has been able to play just 45 first-class matches in a nine-year career so far. With injuries and fitness issues hampering the bowler from bowling long spells, the Rajasthan man has done well to reinvent himself as a white-ball specialist with some promising displays in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings before earning his maiden India call up.

The seamer has really flourished in Chennai under the leadership of MS Dhoni with 32 wickets to show for in his last two IPL campaigns. With his ability to generate prodigious movement on almost any surface, Chahar has been CSK’s chief weapon in the pace department in a bowling unit dominated by spinners.

According to the CricViz Analyst, Chahar has taken 26 wickets in the powerplay alone in the last three IPL editions which is the highest by any bowler in the competition.

Such has been his potency with the new ball that skipper Dhoni has usually opted to bowl out his four overs on the trot. Question marks have still hovered over Chahar’s ability to bowl with the older ball in the death overs though.

Even in his excellent display against Windies last month, Chahar bowled his three overs on the bounce in the powerplay with Kohli electing not to bowl him out in the death overs.

As such, Chahar’s latest showing against South Africa is of great significance to both him and India. The seamer did bowl three of his overs in the powerplay but also showed he can do a job with the older ball as well by bowling a superb 18th over where he conceded just three runs and picked up the wicket of Bavuma with a knuckle-ball.

“Earlier I used to bowl out with the new ball, and people used to ask me why I don’t bowl at the death,” Chahar told broadcaster Star Sports after India’s win on Wednesday.

“I used to say death is easier to bowl. My brain had become so used to bowling with two fielders outside the circle (inside the powerplay) that five seemed a luxury. If you have variations, you can use them at the death.”

Chahar has the potential to develop into a formidable force in the T20I format if he can keep improving his death-bowling skills and India will hope he continue to do so in the run-up to the T20 World Cup.

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Sri Lanka Cricket give the green light to upcoming tour of Pakistan

Waseem Ahmed 19/09/2019
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Sri Lanka are set to undertake a tour of Pakistan.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have confirmed that the men’s team’s upcoming tour of Pakistan will go ahead as planned despite recent security concerns raised by its government.

Sri Lanka are slated to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan beginning on September 27 but the tour was thrown into major doubt a few days ago after a tip-off from the Sri Lankan government for a potential terror threat.

Those concerns now seem to have been allayed by the Pakistan government with SLC secretary Mohan de Silva confirming that the tour will go ahead as scheduled.

“The Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Pakistan Government, has reaffirmed to the Sri Lankan government Pakistan’s desire to provide the Sri Lankan National Team with the same level of security as that provided to a head of state,” the SLC secretary was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Sri Lanka had earlier named vastly rejigged ODI and T20 squads for the tour led by Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka respectively after as many as 10 senior players pulled out citing security concerns. The group of players to make themselves unavailable for the tour included limited-overs skippers Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne.

Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq had named 20 probables led by skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for the training camp currently underway in Lahore.

The two teams will first face-off in the ODI series beginning on September 27 with all three clashes set to take place in Karachi. They will then move on to Lahore for the T20I-leg of the tour with the final clash set to take place on October 9.

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Mahela Jayawardene, Shane Warne and the other coaches finalised for The Hundred

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Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

All the coaches have been named for the inaugural edition of The Hundred, an eight-team competition spread across five weeks that is set to launch next summer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s brainchild has led to some controversy since it was announced a new format, consisting of 100 balls per side with traditional six-ball overs banished, would be introduced into the calendar.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at each city-based franchise.

LEEDS

Rumoured name: Northern Superchargers

Venue: Headingley

Representing: Yorkshire and Durham

Coach: Darren Lehmann

Did you know?: Lehmann is married to the sister of former Yorkshire and England all-rounder Craig White. The brash Australian is one of Yorkshire’s favourite adopted sons, having contributed 8,871 runs at an average of 68.76 for the county.

Darren Lehmann.

Darren Lehmann.

MANCHESTER

Rumoured name: Manchester Originals

Venue: Old Trafford

Representing: Lancashire

Coach: Simon Katich

Did you know?: Katich – recently appointed to the helm of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League – will be assisted in his duties by current Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple and assistant Mark Chilton.

Simon Katich. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Simon Katich. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

NOTTINGHAM

Rumoured name: Trent Rockets

Venue: Trent Bridge

Representing: Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire

Coach: Stephen Fleming

Did you know?: Fleming captained New Zealand to their only ICC trophy – the 2000 ICC KnockOut. As a player, he spent time in England with Yorkshire, Middlesex and Nottinghamshire.

Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming

BIRMINGHAM 

Rumoured name: Birmingham Phoenix

Venue: Edgbaston

Representing: Warwickshire and Worcestershire

Coach: Andrew McDonald

Did you know?: Former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori will assist McDonald in his role while Jim Troughton and Alex Gidman, the first-team coaches of Warwickshire and Worcestershire respectively, will be part of the backroom team.

Daniel Vettori

Daniel Vettori

CARDIFF

Rumoured name: Welsh Fire

Venue: Sophia Gardens

Representing: Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Somerset

Coach: Gary Kirsten

Did you know?: Rumoured as a potential replacement for Trevor Bayliss as England head coach, Kirsten will instead combine his duties in the Welsh capital with coaching the Durban Heat T20 side in his native South Africa.

Former South Africa stalwart Gary Kirsten.

Former South Africa stalwart Gary Kirsten.

NORTH LONDON

Rumoured name: London Spirit

Venue: Lord’s

Representing: Middlesex, Essex and Northamptonshire

Coach: Shane Warne

Did you know?: Warne has grand plans to get pop star Ed Sheeran involved with his franchise. The former Australia leg-spinner said: “Ed loves his cricket, he’s a mate and he’ll probably be doing some live concerts for our team.”

Shane Warne Adelaide

SOUTH LONDON

Rumoured name: Oval Invincibles

Venue: The Oval

Representing: Surrey and Kent

Coach: Tom Moody

Did you know?: Former Australia all-rounder Moody, a World Cup winner during his playing days, led Sri Lanka to the 2007 showpiece.

Tom Moddy (r).

Tom Moddy (r).

SOUTHAMPTON

Rumoured name: Southern Brave

Venue: Ageas Bowl

Representing: Hampshire and Sussex

Coach: Mahela Jayawardene

Did you know?: As well as being one of only a handful of batsmen to compile more than 10,000 runs in Tests and one-day internationals during an illustrious playing career for Sri Lanka, Jayawardene has also had the golden touch as a coach, leading the Mumbai Indians to glory in two of the past three editions of the IPL.

MAHELA

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