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News

Deepak Chahar added to India's squad for last two T20Is against Australia

Seamer last played for India in December 2022, and came in even as Mukesh Kumar was released for his marriage ahead of third T20I

Hemant Brar
Hemant Brar
28-Nov-2023
Deepak Chahar has been hampered by injuries for the last few years  •  Sportzpics

Deepak Chahar has been hampered by injuries for the last few years  •  Sportzpics

Deepak Chahar has been added to India's squad for the last two matches of the five-match T20I series against Australia. Mukesh Kumar, meanwhile, was released ahead of the third game in Guwahati on Tuesday for his marriage. But he, too, will be joining the squad for the final two games.
Chahar, who has been hampered by injuries over the last few years, last played for India, in an ODI, in December 2022. He had a good Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20) Trophy recently for Rajasthan. There he picked up ten wickets in five games at an economy of 7.38. With the bat, he scored 67 runs off 39 balls at a strike rate of 171.79.
He has also started well in the ongoing 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy. In two matches so far in the tournament, he hit an unbeaten 66 off 56 balls against Arunachal Pradesh, and also grabbed 6 for 41 against Gujarat.
Given none of India's first-choice fast bowlers are useful batters, Chahar's return is good news in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in June. After the ongoing Australia series, India have six more T20Is and the IPL, before the World Cup is played in the West Indies and the USA.
Mukesh was impressive in his two outings in the series. In the first T20I in Visakhapatnam, he conceded just 29 from his four overs even as Australia posted 208 for 3. In Thiruvananthapuram, he got rid of a dangerous-looking Marcus Stoinis.
Both India and Australia have rested several of their T20I regulars for this series, which started just four days after the ODI World Cup. India currently lead the series 2-0.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo