In a heartwarming tale of mentorship and trust, former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni once again showcased his unwavering support for young talent by overruling coach Stephen Fleming’s reservations regarding the selection of Deepak Chahar in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad. As the IPL 2023 final approaches, Chahar, one of CSK’s frontline pacers, revealed a remarkable incident that highlights Dhoni’s dedication to nurturing budding cricketers.
Chahar can’t stop lauding Dhoni
Chahar’s tryst with Dhoni began when he was recruited by the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. After the team’s exit from the tournament, Chahar found himself in the CSK camp for the subsequent season, led by the indomitable ‘Thala’ himself.
During a candid conversation on the popular show “Breakfast With Champions,” Chahar disclosed that Fleming initially had reservations about including him in the CSK playing XI at the start of the 2018 season. However, Dhoni’s faith in the young seamer prevailed, and he insisted that Chahar be given the opportunity to play all 14 games.
Surprisingly, it was not Chahar’s bowling prowess but an impressive batting display during a practice match, where he smashed five sixes, that caught Fleming’s attention. Unfortunately, Chahar’s progress was hampered by a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss a significant portion of the 2016 season. He managed to get some game time in the 2017 edition when the team’s combination was more settled.
Chahar credits Dhoni for his success
The 2018 IPL auction saw CSK acquire Chahar, but doubts still lingered in the mind of coach Fleming. However, Dhoni, known for his astute judgment and ability to identify talent, stood firm in his belief in Chahar’s abilities. He went on record stating, “He will play all the 14 games this season.”
In a testament to Dhoni’s backing, Chahar shared that when the teamsheet for the opening game was prepared, Dhoni himself had written his name at the top. This small but significant gesture highlighted Dhoni’s unwavering support for the young pacer and spoke volumes about his belief in his potential.
Since that pivotal moment, Chahar has grown into a formidable force for CSK, spearheading their bowling attack during the powerplay overs and consistently picking up crucial wickets. His rise from an uncertain start to a dependable performer is a testament to both his own hard work and the guiding hand of Dhoni, who continues to inspire and nurture emerging talents in the IPL.
Deepak Chahar’s journey from being an uncapped player to donning the Indian national team jersey owes a great deal to the mentorship and faith bestowed upon him by the legendary Dhoni. The duo’s bond exemplifies the essence of the IPL, where experienced stalwarts like Dhoni shape the careers of promising youngsters, setting them on a path to success in international cricket.