Former selector Devang Gandhi feels Deepak Chahar should be the first-choice option for India in T20Is, especially ahead of someone like Shardul Thakur. While Chahar is currently on tour in Sri Lanka, Shardul is with India's Test squad in England.
Deepak Chahar showed his all-round capabilities in the second ODI against Sri Lanka by guiding India to victory with the bat (69* off 82 balls) in a nail-biting encounter.
Despite that, former India international Devang Gandhi, who played four Tests and three ODIs, reckons Deepak Chahar should continue focussing on his primary skill, which is bowling.
In an interaction with The Telegraph, Gandhi stated:
“Death bowling has been his concern, but he’s looking to address it. Focus should be on the primary skill, which is Deepak’s bowling. Now if he can keep batting well, it will of course be a boost to India’s lower order. However, in T20Is, Deepak will be my first choice, especially when compared to someone like Shardul Thakur, because he can swing the ball."
Deepak Chahar won plaudits for his sensible batting, as he never panicked when India were 193-7 while chasing 276 for victory. The 28-year-old also picked up two wickets in the second ODI against Sri Lanka.
"I’ve seen him bat well and with seriousness" - Former India international Hrishikesh Kanitkar on Deepak Chahar
Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who was Deepak Chahar's first captain at first-class level, stated that he wasn't surprised by the latter's batting exploits. Kanitkar revealed that the 28-year-old always took his batting seriously. He explained:
"He used to bowl so well throughout that nobody really paid much attention to his batting. I’m not surprised because right from the beginning, I’ve seen him bat well and with seriousness. His ability was always there, but he used his mind very well in Tuesday’s game, which was very important, and played a mature innings."
India have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series versus Sri Lanka. With Deepak Chahar making headlines with his performance, it remains to be seen whether he will be included in India's T20 World Cup squad.
Check our Tokyo Olympics Coverage here!