Just the beginning, says Rahul Chahar

The young wrist-spinner faces tough task of establishing himself in Team India.

The leg-spinner enjoyed a fine 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, claiming 41 wickets.   -  Getty Images

Earlier this month Rahul Chahar made his debut for India, taking one for 27 in the third T20 against the West Indies. For someone who first played for the Rajasthan senior team only in the winter of 2016, it has been a steep rise.

The leg-spinner enjoyed a fine 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, claiming 41 wickets. He then shone for Mumbai Indians in this year's IPL, taking 13 wickets at a frugal economy rate of 6.55. The selectors were evidently paying attention.

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

Dream come true

"Obviously, it was a dream come true for me," Chahar said at the Alur grounds here, where he is turning out for India Green in the Duleep Trophy. "I have worked for this since my childhood. But this is just the beginning."

On Thursday, Chahar was named in the Indian side for the three T20s at home against South Africa next month. Like during the West Indies series, he is the only wrist-spinner in the squad, with the selectors perhaps intending to take a look at IPL performers with next year's ICC T20 World Cup in mind.

Chahar will have to overcome immense competition, though, before he can establish himself in the Indian team.

"Competition always teaches you something," he said. "Each bowler has his own strengths, he has different variations. So when it becomes tough to get a wicket in a game, you talk to your spin partner and take his inputs."

Chahar may have risen to prominence during the IPL, but he is keen to make an impact in First Class cricket, too. Switching between formats, as he has done here after arriving from the West Indies, was not hard, he felt.

"The last domestic season turned out to be very crucial for me. In First Class cricket, your basics should be strong. In T20s, you basics need to be right, but you also need to be smart.

“In one-dayers, it’s about striking a balance between these two. With experience, you learn to adapt to different formats," said the 20-year-old.

When Chahar made his India debut in Guyana, the star of the show was another bowler with the same surname — cousin Deepak, who took three for four and was declared Man-of-the-Match.

READ: ‘Rahul Chahar is a fabulous talent’

The mentor

Deepak's father is a mentor to both players, and the younger Chahar was pleased his uncle's dream of watching both represent India had come to fruition.

"It was a special feeling that my elder brother was playing for India and I was making my debut alongside him," he said. "Finally, I repaid the faith and hard work of my Tauji (uncle), my coach. He dreamt of watching us play for India on TV and it finally happened."