“Look At Him As First Choice”: Former India Pacer Names Player Who Can Be Jasprit Bumrah And Mohammed Shami’s Backup

Former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji feels Deepak Chahar should’ve played for the team in the Asia Cup, especially considering that star fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will miss the tournament. While Bumrah was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury, the Indian selectors decided not to pick Shami. Meanwhile, Chahar, who made a return to the side after a long injury lay-off during the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, has been named as a reserve player for the Asia Cup.

Speaking on India’s fast bowling options ahead of the Asia Cup, Balaji said that Chahar should’ve been picked in the squad, considering his ability to take wickets with the new ball.

“What he was doing in Zimbabwe straightaway on his return to international cricket was like he just pressed the resume button and got into his wicket-taking abilities. Chahar has been phenomenal with his work ethics. He has got a lot of variations. His ability to bowl swing and seam, and pick up wickets with the new ball makes him special. When you have the skills like he has with the new ball, it is a treat to watch. Very rarely do you get to see swing and seam with the new ball in today’s cricket. It is more of hit-the-deck type,” Balaji told in an interview.

“In the UAE, where the new ball skills are needed to make early inroads into the opposition batting, what you want is wickets upfront with the new ball. If Chahar gives you those early wickets, you have to look at him as a first-choice. But, there are a lot of bowlers and there is a lot of competition. You want wicket-taking bowlers with the new ball. If Bumrah and Shami are not available, Chahar is the one who provides that,” he added.

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