IPL 2021: Rahul Chahar, work in progress to a star leggie

IPL 2021: Rahul Chahar picked up four wickets to halt KKR's chase against Mumbai Indians at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.

Rahul Chahar celebrates with Rohit Sharma and other Mumbai Indians teammates after picking a wicket against Kolkata Knight Riders.   -  IPL

Rahul Chahar is a far improved bowler in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. The leg-spinner, who has been under Mumbai Indians’ wings since 2018, took a giant leap in recent times by dismissing superstars such as Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow.

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The experience against England, besides bowling to MI power-hitters at the nets, helped the India international bring out his top game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. The leggie returned 4/27 as the five-time champion clinched the game from the jaws of defeat.

Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi were his victims. “I think I enjoyed Tripathi’s wicket the most. The ball turned really nicely.”

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“There was nothing much in my mind as I have been bowling to the Indian batsmen at the nets. It reduces the pressure. I also bowl to Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. So when there is a similar situation during a game with big-hitters on strike, I don’t feel any pressure,” said Chahar, after the 10-run victory over KKR.

His captain, Rohit Sharma, motivated him further. “Rohit keeps telling me that at times, he also can’t read my deliveries when batting at nets. So how will the others read? He told me to keep the length right and turn the ball,” he said.

Rohit also displayed his leadership skills by introducing a leg-slip when Eoin Morgan took guard against Chahar. “We were trying to attack mentally and we were confident,” said the youngster, who hopes to contribute in the remaining games in partnership with Krunal Pandya.