Head coach Ravi Shastri asked net pacer Deepak Chahar to be ready to fill as a replacement in case of an injury to one of India's mainstay fast bowler during the ongoing World Cup in the United Kingdom, said the speedster himself on completion of the assignment and his arrival back home.
"I met everyone before leaving. I was praised by Ravi sir. He praised me and said you have done a great job. He also said - be prepared, you might get a call-up if there's an injury," Chahar told Times of India.
Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini and Avesh Khan were also selected as net pacers for the marquee event in England and Wales. While Navdeep and Avesh are yet to play for India, Khaleel has featured in eight ODIs and nine T20Is, and Chahar has represented the country in one T20I.
"Indian selectors gave me a big duty. They considered me because of my ability to swing the ball and the experience of having already played in England."
"I was asked to target the Indian top order and bowl in-swingers and out-swingers to them. Our top order is exceptionally talented. Rohit (Sharma) bhai, Virat (Kohli) will do really well in England. They played swing bowling really well," Chahar added.
"I bowled most of the deliveries to Virat as instructed by the team management. He had answers for every delivery bowled to him. I always enjoy bowling in English conditions. I was aware of the conditions so it was easy for me to quickly adapt to them. I enjoyed this time too."
Chahar got the opportunity to bowl at explosive batsmen like Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni. "I bowled to (Hardik) Pandya and Mahi bhai (Dhoni) at nets. Dhoni plays swing with ease. He doesn't look at the bowlers when they bowl. So, it is hard to know what is going on in his mind."
Prior to India's opening game last Wednesday (June 5) at Southampton versus South Africa, the team management decided to send Chahar and Avesh back home and have Khaleel travel with the squad as a back-up. Navdeep, unfortunately, couldn't go to UK after sustaining and nursing a side strain.
"It was pre-decided that we both (Chahar and Avesh) will be coming back to India. Our tickets were already booked. The reason is it’s a World Cup and ICC takes care of everything. So, it was decided that we will complete our assigned duty and come back," Chahar concluded.