Punjab Kings have never won the IPL. Their best performance in IPL history was in the 2014 season (under George Bailey’s captaincy) when they entered the final, but lost the title clash by 3 wickets to the Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders team.
In a recent interview with TimesofIndia.com, Chahar talked about Punjab’s chances of winning their maiden title this season and more.
Chahar, who takes inspiration from the legendary Shane Warne, has claimed 7 wickets in the 4 matches he has played so far in this season. He is the highest wicket-taker for the Punjab outfit so far in the 15th edition.
TimesofIndia.com caught up with Chahar for an exclusive interview and spoke about his IPL experience so far, playing under the tutelage of Anil Kumble at the Punjab Kings, his idol Shane Warne and much more.
Do you think Punjab Kings can finally win the title this time?
We have a 100 percent chance of winning our maiden title this time. Considering our team combination and the way our batsmen are performing, Punjab Kings can win the trophy this time.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL/ANI
Shane Warne is someone you admire. Have you ever met him?
When I was 8, I used to watch Shane Warne’s videos and try to copy his action. He has always been my idol since I was a child. I always wanted to meet him once ,but never got the chance. When he was the mentor of the Rajasthan Royals, I was with Mumbai Indians. During one MI vs RR match I tried to meet him but couldn’t.
As a spinner, you have scored valuable runs for the team. Your take on the trend of bowlers (spinners and pacers) working more and more on their batting these days to become more effective players for their teams…
There is a lot of competition. You need to be really good in every department to be in the Indian team. You need to be perfect in all three departments. I think if I can be perfect in all three departments, only then will I be able to play for India. I am working very hard. I am trying to be perfect in all three departments. Batting has become very important these days. Be it in T20s, ODIs, or Tests, every player should know how to score runs.
You have played for Rising Pune Supergiant, Mumbai Indians and now Punjab Kings. What has your IPL experience been like so far?
It has been 4-5 years for me in the IPL. This is my third team. It has been a huge learning experience for me. In my first team (Rising Pune Supergiant), Dhoni bhaiya was there. Imran Tahir was there. I learnt a lot from Dhoni bhaiya and Tahir. I spent 4 years with the Mumbai Indians and got to learn a lot. I got the chance to play with big name players like Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah. With time, the graph of my confidence and understanding of the game and situations has gone up. I love to learn and will continue to do that. IPL has helped me a lot.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL/PTI
What tips have you got from Anil Kumble at Punjab Kings?
After every net session, it is a privilege to be with him. I try to learn many things from him. I speak to him every day on a particular topic. The process is ongoing and I am learning from him every day. He is a legend of the game and his bowling tips help me a lot. I am using every opportunity I get to learn from him.
Is winning the Purple Cap (for most wickets) a goal of yours?
The purple cap is not on my mind. All I want to do is to perform, contribute and win as many games for my team as possible. That’s the ultimate aim. I want to put in match-winning performances for my team by taking wickets and winning matches for Punjab Kings.