IPL auctions: Chahar brothers ‘leave the house divided’

Both Deepak and Rahul Chahar will feature in the IPL this year, albeit for different teams. In the auctions on Sunday, Mumbai Indians roped in Rahul for a whopping Rs 1.9 crore, while Chennai Super Kings bought Deepak for Rs 80 lakh.

Deepak Chahar, who previously played for the now defunct Rising Pune Supergiant, is happy to have got an opportunity to play under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.   -  K.R. Deepak

This edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could well throw a big challenge for the Chahar family. By the time the action gets underway in April, the family will have to find an answer to the biggest question—which team to support?

After all, both the sons—Deepak and Rahul —will be playing the T20 League, albeit for different teams. In the auctions on Sunday, Mumbai Indians roped in Rahul for a whopping Rs 1.9 crore, while Chennai Super Kings bought Deepak for Rs 80 lakh.

Deepak, however, laughs off at such a possibility. “There won’t be any fight. I am sure the family will support both the teams,” Deepak tells Sportstar, quickly adding that things would obviously depend on how the teams fare. “Abhi toh bahot time hai, dekho kya hota hai…” he says.

As he speaks, Deepak—one of Rajasthan’s most promising medium pacers—makes it clear that he is happy to have got an opportunity to play under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I played with him at the Rising Pune Supergiant last season and now that I will be going to CSK, it feels like I am back home,” the young gun—who is also the highest wicketkeeper in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20—says.

He does make a point. After all, with Dhoni, Stephen Fleming joining CSK, it is ultimately a reunion of sorts for the Supergiant cricketers. “I know most of the people and I am sure there will be enough opportunities coming my way. That’s all I want,” Deepak says.

It is a similar story for his younger brother Rahul.

The leg-spinner, who also played for Rising Pune Supergiant previously, has had a decent outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. And now, after being picked for huge money, Rahul hopes to make it to the final eleven. “I went for the trials at Mumbai Indians and performed well there. Then, the Mushtaq Ali T20 matches were also telecast live on television, so that helped me to get noticed,” he said.

In the final stage of the tournament, Rahul—also representing Team Rajasthan — made heads turn by dismissing Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir. “The tournament really helped me boost the confidence. It was also a big thing that I finally got noticed,” Rahul says.

But then, those who follow cricket have heard about Rahul for a while now. Having made it to the India U-19 side a couple of years back, Rahul has learnt quite a few things from the team coach, Rahul Dravid. “I remember getting a five-for against Nepal in the 2016 Asia Cup fixture. But when I came back to the dressing room, Rahul Sir was not happy with me,” Rahul recalls.

The U-19 coach was not happy with the way Rahul got his last wicket. “In a bid to complete a five-wicket haul, I was targeting the tail-ender and was allowing the set batsman to go for runs. Rahul Sir told me that is not the right approach.”

In the last couple of years, Rahul has taken his coach’s advice seriously. “Rahul Sir also told us that a young player should always be ready to learn and I am just following that advice. I want to learn in Mumbai Indians,” Rahul says.

Having played with Dhoni at the Pune franchise is another memory that Rahul cherishes. “Dhoni sir is a brilliant human being. After interacting with him, I realised that you need to be a good human being to be a legend,” the youngster says before stating the obvious—“I would like to use this opportunity to move closer to a Team India berth.”

Both the brothers have had their moments of joy at the domestic level so far, and now, it is time to again fasten the seat belt.

Deals are done, over to the Chahars!