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IPL Auction 2022: Wonders With New Ball Makes Deepak Chahar a Star Buy for Chennai Super Kings

One can look at Deepak Chahar’s big payday of his career on the first day of the IPL-15 mega auction in Bangalore on February 12 in two ways. The first one is of course the cement manufacturer owned-Chennai Super Kings (CSK) rewarding its hardworking and smart seamer for his excellent run with the franchise for four seasons, but most significantly for further investing in a player who has grown from sporting the sparking yellow attire ranks and trying to establish permanency in India’s men in blue white-ball team.

Not having retained the Rajasthan seamer Chahar for IPL15  —- CSK had retained Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and England’s Moeen Ali—  the South India based franchise, pressed hard for Chahar with CSK Advisor Sundar Raman raising the paddle with CEO Kasi Viswanathan by his side. The thrilling bid for Chahar’s buy — the Jaipur franchise too demonstrated interest for the developing all-rounder who plays for the Rajasthan in the BCCI’s first class and other white ball tournaments — ended with CSK’s offer of Rs.14 crore! the highest sum for a bowler in 15 seasons of IPL history.

CSK has the habit of making the big splash when anything to do with IPL is around. One big blot though was it being suspended from the league by the highest court in the land for its involvement in malpractices in the Twenty20 tournament that it was won four times now and a nine-time finalist.

Otherwise, the men in sparkling yellows have only caught the fan’s attention for cricketing reasons. The first massive event was of when CSK was bought at the franchise auction with a winning bid of $ 90 million plus. Then it successfully bid for Mahendra Singh Dhoni for $ 1.5 million in 2008. Dhoni and CSK have gone on to firm up their relationship in many ways. Fourteen years ago, an Indian player getting $ 1.5 million was unheard of. In that sense CSK sprang a big surprise by venturing to create the Dhoni brand and thereby the CSK brand.

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Then CSK bought England’s Andrew Flintoff for $ 1.55 million. Thereafter, the franchise targeted left arm spinner all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and bought him at $ 2 million in 2012. CSK has retained him three times since.

CSK’s other big buys have been batter-all-rounder Kedar Jadhav at Rs. 7.8 crore in 2018, leg spinner Piyush Chawla at 6.75 crore in 2018, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for Rs. 6.4 crore in 2018, Last year the many-times winner of the league bought Moeen Ali for Rs, 7 crore and Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham for Rs. 9.25 crore.

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And now CSK went all out to get Deepak Chahar for Rs. 14 crore. Four years ago, CSK took him in its wings for Rs. 80 lakh. It had mulled over a lot before targeting a prospect and Chahar has availed of the exposure in Indian and overseas conditions, notably prevalent in the three venues of the United Arab Emirates.

Chahar made his IPL debut for Rising Pune Supergiant, one of the new teams created (for the 2016 and 2017 seasons) to fill in the void caused by the ejection of CSK and Rajasthan Royals for two years. He played five matches (2 in 2016 and three in 2017) and picked up one wicket (in 2017). His performance changed dramatically with Dhoni giving the leeway for Chahar to operate with the new ball. Chahar took 10 and 22 wickets for CSK in 2018 and 2019 with an economy rate of 7.28 and 7.47. In the last two seasons he has taken 26 wickets with an economy rate of 7.62 and 8. 35.

In all he has taken 59 wickets from 63 IPL matches with two four-wicket hauls, three, 3 wicket hauls and 11 two-wicket hauls.

The most important aspect of his bowling — with his skill to swing the ball in and out at a reasonable speed and accuracy in line and length — has been that, of the 59 victims, 31 have been opening batters.

Chahar is CSK’s all-time fourth-highest wicket-taker (58) among fast bowlers after Dwayne Bravo (138), Albie Morkel (91) and Mohit Sharma (69). Shardul Thakur and Doug Bollinger have 55 each.

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Another impressive feature of his virtue is that only two among the 31 openers he has dismissed had half-century plus scores. Among the rest 19 were dismissed for single-digit scores and among these ten without scoring. And among his nine No. 3 batters, the highest scorer was 17. The fact that he has been such a high returns performer against the top three batters of rivals sides makes Chahar a super asset for CSK and Dhoni.

Only Morkel (32) has dismissed more rival openers than Chahar who has also dismissed nine times the No. 3 batters. Getting vital breakthroughs has been his hallmark and CSK and Dhoni have not failed to recognise this particular achievement of his that has often put the team in a better frame of mind to take control of the proceedings in a fast-paced match. Chahar has dismissed the N0. batter seven times, No. 5 batter five times, the N0. 6 batter three times, No. 7 batter, two times and the No. 8 and 10 batters, once each. In 42 instances he has dismissed right-handers and in 17, left-handers.

Chahar and England’s Sam Curran have worked wonders; taking 35 wickets as a fast-bowling combination. In fact, the combination of Chahar, Curran and Thakur have been the most productive for the Dhoni-led side.

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Clearly growing up with the franchise has helped Chahar make progress with the Indian team too. He has shone with the bat for India in the limited ODI chances he has had since September 2018. His last three scores in ODIs is 69 not out against Sri Lanka, 54 against South Africa and 38 against the West Indies. He has played 17 Twenty20 internationals in which he has taken 23 wickets. On 12 occasions he did not have to bat and hence a low total of 22 and remaining unbeaten on all five occasions.

In the IPL he has batted only in 12 innings, but it is his swing bowling that has held him in good stead and made it a highly rewarding exercise. The IPL15 mega auction made him a star with a CSK stretched to pay him Rs. 14 crore.

Special: Get the Live-Updating IPL 2022 Auction Tally | IPL Mega Auction Live Updates and Cricket Score here

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