Bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar has been officially named as a replacement for Hardik Pandya who is out of the Asia Cup due to a back injury. The BCCI also announced Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul as replacements for the injured duo - Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur.
Pandya was left writhing in pain during his bowling spell in the clash against Pakistan and was stretchered off the field. The Baroda-based cricketer conceded 24 runs in 4.5 overs at an economy rate of 4.96, before being rendered incapable of carrying on due to cramps with the dry weather identified as a key determinant.
Chahar seems like an effective replacement considering his ability to deliver economical, effective bowling performances. The 26-year-old made quite an impression during the latest edition of the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings picking 10 wickets in 12 matches, earning the confidence of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. At the same time, the cricketer is also capable of smashing a few lusty blows down the order under pressure as evident from his quickfire knock of 39 runs in 20 balls when promoted up the order against KXIP in the last league clash of the season.
Hyderabad were skittled out for a paltry score of 21 by Rajasthan on the back of an impressive Ranji debut by Chahar who picked 8 wickets while conceding just 10 runs. However, a spate of injuries and illnesses have played truant ever since with the youngster sidelined at crucial intervals. Quality performances in the remaining clashes of the Asia Cup will certainly play a key role in ensuring regular opportunities on the international stage.