Team India Specials

'It's a learning curve'

Wednesday, July 08, 2021
Sai Mohan

Mumbai: Having missed the cut for the Champions Trophy probables, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla says he needs to work on his batting in order to make his way back to the national team. The young spinner is aware of the fierce competition he is facing from the likes of Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and Ravichandran Ashwin and he is willing to work hard to reclaim his place in the team.

Recently, Chawla had a bagful of wickets for Sussex in the England county championship yet it didn’t prove enough to impress the five-member selection committee, led by Krishnamachari Srikkanth. “I have bowled so well for Sussex. I have returned home now but I am going back if Yasir Arafat gets selected in Pakistan’s one-day team,” Chawla told Cricketnirvana.

If he doesn’t fly to England, Chawla will have to wait for the First-class season to begin in October. “I am itching to start bowling again and cannot wait till October. I am thoroughly disappointed that despite an outstanding first-class season last year and a decent IPL season this year I was overlooked once again,” a disappointed Chawla says.

However, the leg-spinner, who in 2006 became India’s youngest Test debutant ever, is determined to make his comeback in the Indian team. “This is not a time to be regretting but it’s a time for me to go back to the basics and bowl well consistently. The only thing in my hand is to perform and I know the phone call from selectors is around the corner. It’s a learning curve for me and I know there are enough seniors in the country like Anil Kumble, who have faith in me.”

Chawla feels he needs to improve his batting in order to press for selection. “I have done well with the bat in domestic cricket, but I need to start scoring runs at the international level, whenever I get the chance. These days you need two or three different skills to perform at the highest level and I cannot depend only on my bowling,” he says.

One former India spinner explains why Amit Mishra has the edge over Piyush Chawla. “He (Chawla) has immense talent but his problem is he needs to gain some strength in his bowling action. At the moment he seems to be in a hurry to finish off his overs, that’s how he comes across to me. He needs to work on his googly and needs to identify his strengths carefully,” Maninder Singh tells Cricketnirvana

Chawla says he would have made the cut to Champions Trophy if he could have replicated his IPL- 1 performance in South Africa. “I think my performance in IPL-2 was below par, when compared to the first season. I could have done better and selectors would have noticed that. But overall I was happy with my performance.”

He was hailed as Kumble’s successors a couple of seasons back but young Chawla hasn’t quite lived up to the build up. With age on his side, here’s hoping that it is just a matter of time before the UP bowler makes his return to don the national colour.