New Delhi: India’s swing fast bowler Deepak Chahar was promoted ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo on Tuesday and he was able to grab his chance with both hands as India won the game by three wickets and have taken an impregnable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.

Chahar walked out to bat with India at 160-6 and joined forces with Krunal Pandya after the big wicket of Surykumar Yadav. India needed another 116 runs to win at that stage and it looked like that the match was done and dusted. The task of chasing down the target became even more difficult after India lost the wicket of Krunal Pandya and were tottering at 193-7. However, Chahar stitched a fine alliance of 84 runs for the eight-wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Chahar scored a magnum opus knock of unbeaten 69 runs whereas Kumar also contributed with 19 runs to take India over the line. Chahar, who was awarded the Player of the match for his heroics with the bat, stated that head coach Rahul Dravid told him to bat till the end and that’s what exactly he did.

“No better way to win the match for the country. Rahul sir told me to play all the balls. I’ve played a few innings with India A and I think he has belief in me. He told me he thinks I’m good enough to be a No. 7. He has belief in me. Hopefully, in the coming matches I don’t have to bat,” Chahar said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“It was a decent score [to chase] on this wicket. Only one thing that was going on in my mind: this is the kind of innings I’ve been dreaming of. When we came under 50 is when I believed we can win. Before that, it was ball by ball. I took some risks after,” he concluded.

Chahar’s score of 69 runs is the second-highest for the Indian team in ODI when a batsman has batted at number eight after Ravindra Jadeja’s knock of 77 versus the Kiwis in the 2019 World Cup. The final ODI will take place on Friday at the same venue.