New Delhi: Even as the spotlight had been on M.S. Dhonis future and India skipper Virat Kohlis decision to play in all three formats against the West Indies, for the Chahar household, it is time for double celebration as after Deepak, it is Rahul who has now made it to the national team. Rahul has been picked in the Indian team by the national selectors for the three T20Is against the West Indies.
Speaking to IANS, Rahul’s father Desh Raj said that having two sons in the national team has made the moment all the more special.
“Every child who picks the ball or bat wants to play for India. But we have two of our children in the national team. Can it get any better? Rahul called me as soon as he was made aware of his selection. Even though it was still night in the West Indies, he said he couldn’t sleep all night as he was waiting for the announcement of the squad,” the proud father smiled.
But it hasn’t always been rosy for the youngster who missed the bus to the 2018 U-19 World Cup and was demoralised. A call from another Rahul -— Dravid —- was all it took to change the mood of the young spinner and there has been no looking back.
“He had even shot for the promos with the rest of the squad and then he missed out. He was obviously down and out. But the trials were on in Mumbai Indians (MI) and while it was important for him to go, I didn’t wish to force him. But to everyone’s surprise, he showed great character and went ahead to play and get picked for MI.
“Rahul sir called him after he wasn’t picked in the U-19 World Cup team and told him that these little hurdles in life don’t mean anything in the long run, and see, he is today in the Indian team. This is the ultimate goal. I now want him to go on and cement his place. Rahul sir showed faith in his abilities and that can be a huge confidence booster at his age,” the proud father added.
While Rahul now joins Deepak in the national team, there is one more similarity between the two. While Dhoni’s affection towards Deepak is well documented, Desh Raj said that Rahul too is indebted to Dhoni for the support during his time at Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017.
“From the stories that Rahul has told me, Dhoni sir helped him a lot during his time with Pune and he would always be open to help my son with ideas. He said Dhoni was very approachable and shared little tricks of the trade with Rahul from time to time,” Desh Raj said.
Clearly there is more to Dhoni the player. He has been a guiding force for the next generation of cricketers, be it Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal or Deepak and Rahul Chahar.