Rahul Chahar bowled Mumbai Indians (MI) to one of their most remarkable victories. After the come from behind 10-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the leg-spinner revealed that even captain Rohit Sharma often finds it difficult to pick him in the nets.
Chasing 153 for the win, KKR were cruising nicely at 104 for 2 in the 13th over and were looking like the more likely side to win. The equation came down to 31 off the final five overs with all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell at the crease. Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Trent Boult bowled brilliantly at the death to win it for Mumbai as the last 3 overs saw only 11 runs with 2 wickets.
Rahul Chahar: Rohit Sharma Asked To Keep The Focus And Try To Turn The Ball
Before that, Rahul Chahar sent back the top four KKR batters (Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, and Eoin Morgan) and registered figures of 4-0-27-4 that won him the Player of the Match award.
When asked what Rohit Sharma advised him, Rahul Chahar told the press: “He (Rohit Sharma) didn’t say much. He always tells me that bowl with full confidence as you are a very good bowler.
“He tells me that he sometimes struggles to pick some balls when he bats against me in the nets. He asked to keep the focus and try to turn the ball. I knew that in this match, if someone had to turn things around then, it had to be a spinner. I had the confidence in myself.”
Rahul Chahar registered his best bowling figures (4/27) in the IPL as MI successfully defended a total of 152 against KKR. Chasing a target of 153, the KKR openers – Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill – took calculated risks to start off their innings, with Nitish Rana doing the majority of the hitting.
The pair continued to bat on before Rahul Chahar provided a breakthrough for MI picking Shubman Gill in the 9th over. KKR was placed at 81/1 at the halfway stage and it was Rahul Chahar once again who struck for the MI, dismissing Rahul Tripathi in the 11th over.
Rahul Chahar scalped his third wicket of the match, dismissing KKR skipper Eoin Morgan in his third over. A well-set Nitish Rana was the next man to get out as the young MI leg spinner outfoxed the left-hander before Quinton de Kock dislodged the bails to give MI and the leg spinner his fourth wicket.
Earlier, in the 18th over, Andre Russell picked up two wickets, dismissing Kieron Pollard and Marco Jansen, and then bowled a three-wicket final over and completed his maiden five-wicket haul in the IPL which helped KKR bowl out MI for 152.
Rahul Chahar: Attacking Field Settings By Rohit Sharma Reflects MI’s Confidence
Rahul Chahar further revealed that MI skipper Rohit Sharma doesn’t shy away from setting attacking fields, which only reflects the confidence the defending champions have.
Despite defending a low total and starting on the wrong foot, Mumbai employed attacking fields and hunted for regular wickets against a Kolkata line-up that bats very deep.
“Yes, we get a psychological upper hand. (Rohit Sharma employed a slip and close-in fielder to Andre Russell). Even when I was bowling to Rahul Tripathi, we had 2 covers and a slip. Even for Eoin Morgan, we had a slip and a leg slip. It shows we are attacking and confident,” Rahul Chahar concluded.
Mumbai Indians, who have now bagged their first win in the IPL 2021, will play their third match of the tournament against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Saturday.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 152 all out (Suryakumar Yadav 56, Rohit Sharma 43, Andre Russell 5/15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142/7 (Nitish Rana 57, Shubman Gill 33, Rahul Chahar 4/27) by 10 runs