Yet another find of the Indian Premier League, Rahul Chahar recently made his international debut against West Indies. The 20-year old leggie has come a long way since being ignored for the 2018 U19 World Cup. And despite the tough competition for the spinner’s spot in the Indian Cricket team, Rahul is here to stay. Let us get to know the youngster a little better:
Date of Birth
4 August 1999
T 20 Debut
6 August 2019
Leg break googly
Teams Played for
Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune SuperGiants
Rahul Chahar Biography
Born in Bharatpur, Rajasthan on 4th August 1999, young Rahul had a Cricket background in his family from a very early age. Rahul’s cousin, Deepak Chahar picked up 8/10 in his first-class debut in the 2010-11 domestic season. Looking at his brother’s success, Rahul decided to divert his complete attention from studies to Cricket.
Young Rahul initially started as a pace bowler just like his brother but later turned to leg-spin after Deepak’s advice. Along with Deepak, Rahul’s uncle also played a huge role in his early days as a cricketer, nurturing and guiding Young Rahul for the future.
Slowly but steadily, Rahul kept moving up the ladder in the domestic circuit, going through each age-level cricket with consistent performances. He made his first-class debut for Rajasthan in November 2016 at the mere age of 17. Playing against Odisha, Rahul picked up 1/24 in his first inning. But in the second inning, the leggie went for 119 runs in 33 overs and just one wicket to show for.
Rahul made his List A debut in February 2015 against Madhya Pradesh in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He went for 1/48 in just five overs as MP chased down the target of 212 with ease. But his inning of 14 runs in just six balls which included two sixes proved that the youngster can also swing the bat when needed. But Rahul took five more wickets in the next four games he played at the economy rate of 4.
IPL under Dhoni
With the performances at the domestic circuit, Rahul was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) for IPL 2017. Although he was signed for the base price of ₹10 lakh, Rahul shared the dressing room with MS Dhoni and leggie Imran Tahir for the entire season, bagging invaluable experience in the process. His brother, Deepak Chahar was also part of the RPS squad.
Rahul made his IPL debut against KXIP and opened his account with the wicket of Hashim Amla. He played just two more games in the season and bagged just one more wicket but it was of explosive Brendon McCullum. But Rahul became a household name due to his acrobatic boundary line save.
U19 World Cup exclusion and Comeback
After the 2017 IPL campaign, Rahul was a completely new player with a bagful of experience of sharing the dressing room with some of the finest cricketers. He was selected for the 2017 ACC Emerging Teams Cup and picked up four wickets in two games. But he missed most of the 2017-18 domestic season due to an injury.
Rahul was still picked up in the U19 team for the Youth ODIs against England. He finished with 10 wickets in 4 matches at an average of just 15.2. But surprisingly that was not enough to book his seat for the 2018 U19 World Cup.
The youngster was stunned at his exclusion from the World Cup but was soon picked by Mumbai Indians for the 2018 IPL for a whopping 1.9 crores.
Rise to the International Team
Despite being picked by Mumbai Indians, Rahul did not get an opportunity in 2018. But he was set out to prove the selectors wrong for keeping him in the standby list for the U19 World Cup. And his domestic performances in 2018-19 showed that Rahul was a man on a mission.
He was Rajasthan’s leading wicket-taker in the 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy with 20 scalps in just nine games. After being picked up for India C at the 2017-18 Deodhar trophy, Rahul bagged three wickets and helped India C to the title.
But it was the 2019 IPL which turned out to be a breakthrough season for the leggie. After the pace trio of Bumrah, Malinga and Hardik Pandya, Rahul was Mumbai’s main spinner with 13 wickets in 13 games. His economy, 6.55 was the third-best amongst players with 10+ matches.
In both qualifier and the final against Chennai Super Kings, Rahul was at his best with the figures of 2/14 and 1/14 respectively in four overs.
His IPL season alone was enough for the national selectors to consider him for the post-World Cup team build-up. Rahul was a part of the T20 squad against West Indies and made his debut in the third and final game of the series.
And although, Rahul’s elder brother, Deepak stole the headlines with impressive figures of 3/4 in just three overs, the 20-year old also picked up his maiden scalp in the form of Windies captain Carlos Brathwaite.
At the age of 20, there is still a long way to go for Rahul and earning a place in the Indian side as a spinner is one of the most difficult tasks. But the youngster has what it takes to succeed in the limited-overs format with economical bowling. He is also handy with the bat in the lower order and can send one or two balls in the stand when needed.
The future is certainly bright for Rahul Chahar and the youngster just needs to keep performing constantly at the domestic circuit – And it won’t be long before we see him in the Indian jersey on a regular basis!
Statistics: Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar Family
Cricketer Rahul Chahar is the son of real estate businessman Brijraj Chahar. However, more than his father, it has to be his uncle, Lokendra Chahar, whom Rahul owes the early success as a cricketer. Lokendra gave up his job at the age of 37 to start his cricket academy in Agra in 2006 by loaning an amount of around ₹ 10 lakhs.
“We made turf wicket and cement wicket. We took a college ground and got matting, which the kids would carry on scooter,” he revealed in an interview with Hindustan Times. Deepak and Rahul soon joined the camp and are one of the proud alumni of the academy.
“When Rahul started playing, he was weak. But he works hard on fitness. Sometimes, I have to stop him. In fact, Rahul does as much fitness as Deepak does. He would follow the fast bowler’s routine, which is why you see he is very fit,” he added.
Rahul is also in a relationship with Ishani, his love interest for four years now. Rahul’s sister Malti Chahar is a model-turned-actress.