Deepak Chahar made headlines on Thursday, August 18, night when he claimed three wickets in India’s first ODI against Zimbabwe. The 30-year-old also marked his return to the Indian team after almost seven months and led the bowling department from the front as he was adjudged the Player of the Match.

Chahar registered a figure of 3/27 in the first ODI against Zimbabwe and looked visibly pleased in a video interview that the BCCI posted on Friday.

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“It’s been 6 and a half months, not two months. When you are out for such a long time, you are always eager to make a comeback into the Indian team,” Chahar said. 

The right-arm pacer revealed that the time he spent out of the national team fold was a tough phase for him but he was waiting for his next chance to make a comeback to the Indian team.

“It was a tough phase and time. But the good thing is that it keeps changing. I was waiting for a long time to come back and play for India again,” he added. 

Deepak Chahar dismissed three top Zimbabwean batters, including their opening duo of Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani for 4 and 8 runs respectively. He performed admirably with the new ball as he went on to claim his third wicket of Wesley Madhevere. The 30-year-old revealed that the performance felt good.

“It feels so good. The landing area was hard and my spikes were not gripping. I started to land properly only when the area got rough. And luckily I got a wicket, which took the pressure off,” he quipped.

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The BCCI video also featured Axar Patel, who also claimed three wickets in the first ODI win over Zimbabwe on August 18. Patel jokingly called Chahar as India’s AB de Villiers, to which the 30-year-old responded saying, “No, no! What will Chahal bhai do?”

India bowled Zimbabwe out for 189 runs in 40.3 overs. The Men in Blue’s opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill then put on a resolute show, remaining undefeated as they scored 81 and 82 respectively to hand India the victory.

The Indian cricket team will face Zimbabwe in the second ODI match on Saturday, August 20, in Harare.