Chennai Super Kings (CSK) cannot come to terms with the fact that they have lost one of their most impactful players, Deepak Chahar, for the entire IPL 2022 season due to a back injury.
In the absence of the 29-year-old pace bowler, the defending champions’ IPL 2022 campaign has floundered as they have won just one game — against RCB — in five outings, and are placed ninth and second-last on the points table.
In a massive blow for the Ravindra Jadeja-led defending champions, Chahar picked up a back injury at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru while rehabilitating from a quadricep injury sustained during the third T20I against West Indies in February. He was ruled out of the entire IPL 2022 season on Friday.
Chahar was an integral part of CSK’s fourth title win in IPL 2021, claiming 14 wickets from 15 games at an economy of 8.35. He was the team’s powerplay enforcer with the ball and also an able lower-order hitter, which got the franchise to spend Rs 14 crores to pick him at the mega auction ahead of this season.
On Saturday, CSK remembered Chahar’s exploits exactly a year ago when the right-arm seamer bowled four overs on the trot, giving away only 13 runs, and prising out four wickets in a bowling master-class against Punjab Kings.
Chahar cleaned up Mayank Agarwal off the fourth ball of the match, bowling an outswinger that started on leg stump. Agarwal tried to flick the ball towards mid-wicket, but the delivery beat his defence and crashed onto off stump as the batter departed for a duck.
Chahar then foxed Chris Gayle with a slower ball. The delivery took the leading edge and Ravindra Jadeja, who was stationed at point, flew to his right to take a stunner.
Chahar then dismissed Nicholas Pooran for a duck by bowling a short delivery. The West Indian went for the hook and the ball landed into the hands of deep fine leg, as Chahar scalped his third wicket in the match.
He bowled a length delivery to Deepak Hooda, who hit the ball straight into the hands of mid-off, as Chahar claimed his fourth wicket.
PBKS were restricted to 106/8 in 20 overs, with CSK romping home with six wickets and 26 balls to spare.