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Deepak Chahar, the Chennai Super Kings quick, has been ruled out of the 2022 IPL altogether because of the back injury that had prevented him from taking part in the initial part of the competition. He had picked up the injury while undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, where he was recovering from the quadricep tear he picked during India's T20I series against West Indies in February.
The initial assessment by the NCA physios suggested that Chahar, acquired by his old team Super Kings for INR 14 crore (US$1.84 million approx.) at the February mega auction, would be able to play a part in the tournament after missing a major chunk of matches. Super Kings were, therefore, expecting their new-ball frontman to return in late April.
But that has changed now, and it is understood that BCCI and the Indian team management want him to be in peak shape as India prepare for the T20 World Cup starting in October.
A swing bowler with the new ball as well as an able lower-order hitter, Chahar's absence has already hurt the balance of Super Kings' side so far this season. They lost their first four matches on the hop, and finally got on the points table in only their previous - the fifth - match of the season, following a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Only Mumbai Indians, winless after five games, are below them on the table.
Super Kings have picked up only four powerplay wickets this season, two of them by Maheesh Theekshana in the last game against Royal Challengers, and two by Mukesh Choudhary, who has been entrusted with the new ball in Chahar's absence. He has, however, been on the expensive side, going at an economy rate of ten runs an over in the powerplay.
Chahar's record for Super Kings in the same phase makes for fine reading: he has an economy rate of 7.61 with 42 wickets in 58 innings during the first six overs.