'Obviously pressure was there and I wanted to perform at the first opportunity because that's all what a player can control.'
A six month injury lay-off can take its toll mentally but Deepak Chahar, after a successful return to international cricket, believes he has picked up from where he had left when he sustained a career-threatening hamstring injury.
The Rajasthan seamer, who won the Player of The Match award with figures of 3/27 against Zimbabwe on his comeback, feels that he had done a lot of work skill wise to match that level of performance during the pre-injury period.
Asked if he believes his good showing in the first ODI puts him in contention for the T20 World Cup, Chahar said: "I can't say if I will be selected or not as that's not in my hands but skill wise I have worked very hard.
"I think I have picked up from where I had left and today also barring first two overs, I bowled well. I bowled seven overs at one go which is an indicator that my fitness levels are okay," Chahar said after the match.
Having found his mojo back and also getting the ball to swing both ways appreciably in the morning session, Chahar revealed that the plan was to bowl fuller length deliveries.
"My plan remains simple, when the ball is swinging try to bowl fuller length and take wickets. If the ball isn't swinging, then there is a plan 'B' or 'C'. Today, it was swinging till the seventh over that I was bowling. So it was simple -- bowl a fuller length and mix the swing and confuse the batter," he said.
For Chahar, the Harare Sports Club pitch's USP is a bit of nip in the air and off the track in the morning session.
"There isn't any turn on offer or neither anything for fast bowlers in particular. The only help you get is in that in the morning session and if you play that session well, then obviously the game goes well.
"But if you lose 4-5 early wickets, then no team can win a match from there. I felt Zimbabwe after losing five wickets for 50 odd (66), scoring 190 was a good effort."
While he is known as a T20 specialist, Chahar said once his rehab at the NCA was nearing completion, he knew that ODIs in Zimbabwe would be his comeback vehicle and he prepared his body accordingly to suit the rigours of 50-over format.
"I knew I will make my comeback in this series, which is an ODI series, so I started loading my body accordingly. The day I started bowling, I bowled six overs and then when I played 2-3 practice games, I bowled full quota of 10 overs," Chahar stated.
Talk about the day's performance, he did agree that there is bound to be circumspection when one comes back after such a long time and people, who played in the interim, also performed.
"Difficulty was there. Because you are trying to regain your place in the side and in the interim, people who played have also performed and consolidated their places.
"So in order to regain your spot, you have to put up a good performance. Obviously pressure was there and I wanted to perform at the first opportunity because that's all what a player can control," he said.