How Chahar’s Injury Impacted Super Kings
Written by: Prithvi (Puneite_)
It’s been almost 3 weeks since India’s biggest festival, the IPL, commenced. The IPL returned to the country after 2 seasons to bring back the natural flavour, enthusiasm, crowds, and high scoring matches – everything that had been missing during the UAE leg. The IPL has thrown quite a few surprises as of now. 5 times champions Mumbai Indians are struggling to buy 2 points after playing 5 games. Same way, 4 times winner and defending champions Chennai Super Kings have managed to win just one game out of 4. CSK had never lost their first 2 opening games, this season they have lost 4 under the new captain Ravindra Jadeja who joined Aaron Finch as the only captain to lose first 4 games as a captain.
There have been many factors for CSK’s position in the points table but perhaps one of the biggest reasons is unavailability of Deepak Chahar. CSK did what they do in every mega auctions, that is, try and maintain their core players as much as they can. Except for Raina they did bid for almost every CSK player that played in 2021 but had to let go off their biggest overseas performers Faf du Plessis and Hazelwood from the champion 2021 squad to their neighbours RCB. Their biggest buy was Deepak Chahar who they bought for 14 crorers in the auctions SRH and DC were involved in a intesnse battle for Chahar till 10.75 cr. Then enters CSK into the bid and grabbed him for 14 cr. This was the first time CSK had spent more then 10 cr on any player in the auctions.
Chahar sustained a quadricep tear he picked during India’s T20I series against West Indies in February. He has been in NCA for more than a month and CSK’s management were hopeful of his availability in mid-April. But as things stand as of now there are reports that he is ruled out of the entire IPL due to a back injury at the NCA. This is a big blow for CSK considering the amount they spent on acquiring him. If they had got him in less amount then maybe they would have left with a big purse to pursue other players and utilize their budget in a more effective manner. Chahar has been a vital cog in CSK for the past few seasons. He is probably the best bowler in powerplay, swings the ball both ways and has a good knuckle ball which deceives the batter. Chahar has also displayed his prowess with the bat. In a ODI against SL last year he smashed a 50 down the order and won India a game from an improbable position. He almost repeated his heroics in the 3rd ODI against SA by hitting a 34 ball 54 a match were India agonisingly fell short of 4 runs. 21* off 8 deliveries against NZ at Eden in the 3rd T20I was one more such instance.
Since 2018, Chahar has picked up 42 wickets in the powerplay, the most by any bowler at an economy of 7.6 and at an impressive dot % of 49. The 2nd best on the list is Trent Boult with 30 wickets and Umesh Yadav on 3rd with 24 wickets. In death overs he has picked up 12 wickets at an economy of 8.3. Bowling Chahar for straight 3 overs in Powerplay was CSK’s modus operandi, this year they don’t have this luxury. The conditions in Mumbai & Pune were tailor made for him. Last year he picked up two 4 wicket hauls at Wankhede against the Punjab Kings & Kolkata Knight Riders and sealed the game for the men in yellow in the Powerplay itself. Chahar also holds the best figures for a bowler in T20Is with his spell of 6/7 against Bangladesh. This year, CSK have picked up only 4 wickets in the powerplay out of which 3 came in the last game against RCB. This implies they picked up only one wicket in Powerplay in 4 games. Only Delhi have picked up less wickets than CSK so far. CSK have tried number of options from Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Choudhary, Chris Jordan and Adam Milne but with little success with the new ball. Left arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary has an economy of 10 in PP and has been too expensive at the death.
CSK have few options on the bench. U 19 star Rajwardhan Hangargekar is a good prospect because of his ability to bowl quick and play big hits down the order. KM Asif and Simarjeet Singh are the other pace bowlers in the squad. Maheesh Theekshana has impressed in his first outing and could regularly bowl with the new ball. KM Asif is with the team since 2018, but he has played only 3 games so far. Simarjeet Singh is a right arm medium pacer who represents Delhi in domestic cricket and has picked up 24 wickets in the T20 format at an economy of 7.45.
It would be interesting to see if CSK look for any replacement for Chahar. There have been growing calls for announcing Ishant Sharma as a replacement on social media but he hasn’t played a lot of cricket in the recent past apart from 2 Ranji Trophy games where he struggled to pick a wicket. Sandeep Warrier and Arzan Nagaswalla could be other options in front of the franchise.
Complete List of Odds of all IPL Teams
Mumbai Indians – 5.50
Delhi Capitals – 6.00
Chennai Super Kings – 7.00
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8.00
Punjab Kings – 8.00
Kolkata Knight Riders – 9.00
Rajasthan Royals – 10.00
Lucknow Super Giants – 11.00
Gujarat Titans – 13.00
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 21.00