Aims We investigated the effects of water stress under low phosphorus (P) supply on P-acquisition by chickpea, and identified a genotype with faster relative growth and P-acquisition rates. Methods We grew four genotypes in pots filled with a sand and soil mixture with a low P availability in a glasshouse. Plants were either well-watered or water-stressed, imposed at the reproductive stage. Plants were harvested when water-stressed plants fully closed their stomata. Results For all four genotypes, water stress reduced shoot and root growth, root mass ratio, and shoot P content, while it increased specific root length (except in ICC 456), water-use efficiency and the amount of rhizosheath carboxylates per gram root dry weight. A faster relative shoot P-acquisition rate in ICC 2884 was associated with a greater specific root length, a smaller mean root diameter and a greater increase in the amount of rhizosheath carboxylates in response to water stress under low P supply. Interestingly, under water stress ICC 2884 also maintained a similar physiological P-use efficiency to that of the well-watered plants. Conclusions ICC 2884 is recommended as a parental genotype in chickpea breeding programs to develop cultivars for low-P and terminal drought environments.