IPL 2020: Zaheer Khan has helped Rahul Chahar attack!

Updated: 23 October, 2020 08:00 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

MI's in-form leg-spinner Rahul Chahar credits aggressive approach to team director Zaheer Khan ahead of CSK tie

MI's Rahul Chahar bowls against KXIP at Dubai on Sunday. PIC: BCCI/IPL
MI's Rahul Chahar bowls against KXIP at Dubai on Sunday. PIC: BCCI/IPL

Mumbai Indians' (MI) young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is among the Top 10 wicket-takers in IPL-13 with 11 scalps in nine games. In the last IPL, Chahar finished with 13 wickets in as many matches and was placed 15th in the list of highest wicket-takers.

This change in attitude of going for wickets all the time is due to Zaheer Khan, MI's Director of Cricket Operations. Chahar credited the former India left-arm pace great for his transformation.

"Initially, I was bowling safe balls. I wasn't attacking, but he [Zaheer] kept on telling me, 'you are an attacking bowler and you can take wickets...go attack, don't worry if you are hit for a six.' He gave me the confidence to bowl freely," Chahar said on the eve of MI's clash against Chennai Super Kings at Sharjah on Thursday.

"I go to Zaheer bhaiyya because I understand what he's been telling me since last year. He understands my type of bowling too and sometimes sits for an hour, watching me bowl. Last year, he had a separate session with me and explained the problems and solutions," added Chahar.

Big grounds help spinners

Chahar felt big grounds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are helping wrist spinners like him and Royal Challengers Bangalore's Yuzvendra Chahal (15 wickets in 10 matches) to bowl with more freedom.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

"The grounds are big so we [wrist spinners] are getting to bowl freely. We can flight the ball and it isn't easy to hit a leg-spinner when he flights it. That's probably the reason we are successful," remarked Chahar.

Pitches getting slow

The slowness of the pitches in the UAE as the tournament progresses is another factor that bowlers have had to deal with. And with the tournament already crossing the halfway mark, Chahar felt the wear and tear of the pitches have forced bowlers to tweak their plans.

Also Read: IPL 2020: Arjun Tendulkar fine-tuning bowling skills under Zaheer Khan and Shane Bond at MI nets

"In the initial matches we felt that the wickets here were similar to the Wankhede Stadium, which are easy for batsmen. Now, gradually the pitches are getting slower and hence I have to make adjustments in my length," said Chahar.

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First Published: 23 October, 2020 07:40 IST

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