Indian pacer Deepak Chahar said that in coming days, it would be important for the team management to maintain the rhythm of its pacers through adequate game time and also keep them fresh ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at home from October 5 onwards.
India's final assignment before the World Cup at home will be a three ODI series against Australia from September 22 onwards. After this, they will play WC warm-up games against England (September 30) and Netherlands (October 3). India will then start its World Cup campaign on October 8 against the Aussies at Chennai.
"I think both (game time and rest) is important. Rest should be given to players but also, they should get to play matches. Rhythm is important. It is great for a player when he is in a good rhythm and you have to carry it forward. We have these 2-3 matches through which we will get good practice. Australia is a good opponent for us and we will get to learn a lot. It is about keeping them fresh and maintaining their rhythm. It should be management's call," said Chahar to ANI in an exclusive interview.
Chahar also lauded speedster Mohammed Siraj for his record-shattering spell in the Asia Cup and added that the Indian pace attack being in a good shape helps Men in Blue's chances at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
India secured its eighth Asia Cup title on Sunday after Siraj's spell of 6/21 in seven overs restricted Sri Lanka to 50 all out in just 15.2 overs, which India chased down easily in 6.1 overs.
"I was watching the match, was at a practice. He bowled brilliantly. He has been bowling brilliantly since past year and so, that is why he is our number one bowler. We had not won a big tournament since long so its good we won the Asia Cup. It will give us huge boost heading into the WC," said Chahar, who was at the launch event of his DNine sports brand.
Siraj ended the Asia Cup 2023 as the second-highest wicket-taker with 10, behind SL's young sensation Matheesha Pathirana, who got 11 scalps.
Talking about Jasprit Bumrah's performance in the Asia Cup, Chahar said that Bumrah looks in a good rhythm and Indian bowling being in a good shape boosts its WC chances.
Bumrah notably took four scalps in four games at an average of 17.75 and economy rate of 4.17, best bowling figures of 2/30.
"In cricket, wickets are not in our control. What matters is how you bowl. Sometimes, you do not bowl well but get wickets, but sometimes you just do not even if you bowl well. I think Bumrah is bowling well, he is in a good rhythm. We have good chances in WC since our batting and bowling is doing really great," said Chahar.
Talking about India's chances at the World Cup, the pacer said that India has great chances and will have the home advantage.
"India has good chances in the tournament. We won last time when it was held in India. Players know the conditions and pitches well and enjoy a home advantage. I cannot predict top four teams since all teams are good," said Chahar.
On what lies next for him as he continues to work his way back into Team India after injuries during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Chahar said, "I am fit now. Whichever tournaments I get to play, like the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, I would try to do well in them. That is all I can control as a player. We cannot decide anything else as players. My mindset is to do well in every chance I get," he concluded. (ANI)