Rahul Chahar: 'I’m feeling quite good about my bowling now'

There is a buzz around Rahul Chahar, after his terrific show in the IPL. The leg-spinner played a key role in Mumbai Indians’ title-run, taking 13 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 6.55.

Rahul Chahar in action against Sri Lanka 'A' in the unofficial 'Test' series.   -  BCCI

There is a buzz around Rahul Chahar, after his terrific show in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The leg-spinner played a key role in Mumbai Indians’ title-run, taking 13 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 6.55.

The impressive return has come as a big boost to his confidence. In his first match after the IPL – a first-class game against Sri Lanka-A at Belagavi – Rahul was on fire, recording a match-haul of eight for 123.

“Having done well in the IPL, I’m feeling quite good about my bowling now,” Rahul said here.

The 19-year-old credited MI skipper Rohit Sharma and MI Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan for his success. “Zaheer gave me a lot of helpful inputs. He would come to help me out even at optional practice sessions. I also received a lot of support and confidence from Rohit. Whatever the match situation, Rohit didn’t hesitate to bring me into the attack,” Rahul said.

READ: ‘Rahul Chahar is a fabulous talent’

In the final, Rahul went up against his cousin Deepak, who represented Chennai Super Kings. Deepak dismissed Rahul for a duck, but the younger sibling had the last laugh. Rahul’s one for 14 turned out to be a winning effort which earned him the ‘Gamechanger of the Match’ award.

When Rahul and Deepak play for opposing sides, family loyalties are set aside. “We didn’t talk much about the match, because we were dedicated fully to our teams. For our family and friends, it was an interesting day. Some of them chanted ‘CSK’, while others chanted ‘Mumbai’. But at the end of the day, they had all bases covered, and were winners regardless of the result,” Rahul said.

Playing on the big stage doesn’t faze the teenager. “When I was 10, my coach and uncle used to make me bowl to adults, in small grounds. So rather than feeling the pressure, I look at playing in front of big crowds as a chance to prove myself," Rahul stated.

The Rajasthan cricketer is keen to build on his recent successes and reach the ultimate goal of playing for India. “I grew up dreaming of playing for India. I want to take a step-by-step approach, and give my very best in every match I play in,” he said.