Having grown up idolizing the legendary Shane Warne, young Mumbai Indians (MI) leg-spinner Rahul Chahar now has a lot of admiration for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) wrist-spinner Imran Tahir.
Chahar, the highly talented bowler, has been consulting Tahir throughout the season and feels it has worked wonders, helping him scalp 10 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.05 in the tournament.
"When I was a kid, I would follow (Shane) Warne. Now, it's Imran Tahir. He brings in variation and, no matter how the wicket or the conditions are, he generates turn. He knows how to bowl in every condition," said Chahar ahead of Mumbai Indians' last league game before the play-offs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday (May 5).
"I have his contact number. Whenever I have a problem, I call him up and he guides me. He always helps me. When I went to England with the India U-19 team (in 2017), I did not know how to deliver in those conditions. It is difficult to grip the ball there, and he told me to put some sand and tackle the situation."
Chahar has also had former India pacer and MI's director of cricket operations Zaheer Khan providing invaluable support. "After the first three matches, there was some problem with my delivery. Zaheer Sir got me to the nets and told me how to get the right turn on the ball."
"I did not have so much talent or strength to be a fast bowler. 'Bhaiya' (elder brother) Deepak Chahar only suggested that I start to bowl leg spin."
It was a dream for Chahar to represent Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Though he got picked in the auction last season itself, the 19-year-old has got his opportunities in the playing XI only this year.
"When I was a kid, my dream was to play for Mumbai Indians. When I debuted for Mumbai Indians for the first time, it was a great feeling -- something that you get while donning the India jersey as well," he concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)