Despite a hard-won half century, Indian batsman Deepak Chahar was left in tears by the end of last Sunday’s final ODI against South Africa.
Chasing a target of 288 runs, India was pretty much playing for pride – not having won a single ODI in the series. Losing captain KL Rahul early on, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli set up a respectable 98-run partnership, but were quickly cut down – followed by Rishab Pant who was immediately struck down by Andile Phehlukwayo – one of the series’ star performers.
Chahar’s Last Stand
While the Indian team as a whole wasn’t performing at peak levels, Deepak Chahar had other plans.
After taking two wickets in the first innings, the 29-year old displayed incredible tenacity and scored five boundaries with two back-to-back sixes. While Indian fans caught a glimmer of hope, it was all for naught – needing just 10 runs from 3 overs, Chahar was struck by Lungi Ngidi’s skillful bowling in the game’s death overs – sending the ball right into the outstretched hands of Dwaine Pretorius.
For Chahar, who had been giving it his all – the loss was absolutely devastating. Overcome by emotions while sitting at the boundary ropes, he succumbed to tears – drawing heartfelt support from millions of empathetic Indian fans:
Heartbreaking day for team India, especially Deepak Chahar. pic.twitter.com/uWGt5HFi7L
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 23, 2022
Gud to see few player like Chahar still cares for the country n have passion n emotions.Meanwhile KL Rahul after failure as opener is gonna get 17cr. This kind of pampering is causing youngsters to nt worry abt team Ind n give their blood tears n everything.
— Malamade2020 (@DeeSpeaks83) January 23, 2022
Several fans also took a moment to criticize the game’s underperformers – in particular, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal:
Almost won us the game but got out at the most crucial time. And our great tailenders couldn’t even score 5-6 runs. Well our middle order couldn’t either
— 💛Samar Pratap🇮🇳 (@Samarpratap1207) January 23, 2022
He will learn that you can’t leave it for Bumrah,Chahal to get even 10 runs in 3 overs.
— movieman (@movieman777) January 23, 2022
“Deepak gave us a real chance of winning the game. Quite an exciting game, just disappointed we ended up on the losing side. We gave ourselves a real chance, something we can learn from and get better,” said skipper KL Rahul, who lost all four matches as captain during India’s South African tour.
(Featured Image Credits: Disney+ Hotstar, BCCI)