Piyush Chawla….Hmm..

One should not read too much into warm-up matches. Teams take these games as opportunities to try their reserve players, try different strategies and try to come out the game injury-free! It is not an accurate indicator of how the teams are going to perform in the main matches, but it does give an idea of which players might fare better individually.

In that context, Piyush Chawla might have silenced a few of his critics in the process of grabbing a match-winning haul against the Aussies at Bangalore. Personally, I’m a little ambivalent towards his performance. The conditions were loaded in his favor, and the Aussies didn’t really seem to have a concrete plan towards playing spin. Still, to give Chawla his due, he made the most of his opportunity and bowled really well, particularly in the second spell. On the way, he took one step ahead of Ashwin, who himself had a decent game with both bat and ball. Given the unreliability of the 3rd seamer, Dhoni might eventually go with two specialist spinners and Chawla made a good case for himself. Still, I will be convinced only after I see how he fares against better players of spin and in unfavorable conditions.

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10 comments

  1. To his credit, he actually seems to have a good stock legspin delivery now, to go with better control over his variations. Even if he isn’t a starter, he considerably outbowled Ashwin, which should put him in reckoning at least.

  2. Howdie tracer!

    Chawla certainly grabbed his opportunity to shine in those conditions. I share your doubt about how impactful he can be vs. better sides against spin (SL and Pak). But vs. Aus, England (whom we also play in B’lore) or SA, I think Dhoni should seriously consider playing Chawla as the 2nd spinner…his excellent wrong-uns (one nearly cleaned up Ponting) in addition to decent leg break make him a genuine wicket-taking option.

    Further, as some of us believe, towards the end of the tourney we might get pitches where 2 seamers + 2 genuine spinners might be more effective than 3 seamers + 1 spinner. The matches in B’lore and Chennai are proving that we may not need to wait that long! 🙂

    Lastly, even though this was a warm-up, I think this was a very important win. Just the mental edge we need for the start of the tourney, as well as for a later stage when we might meet Aus again. (A loss would have had the converse effect for the 2 sides)

    PS: I’m slightly worried by our middle order’s showing vs pace. And I’m seriously worried about our running! Sehwag has always been a very casual runner, but if he keeps running as atrociously as this, he could well cost India 1 or 2 vital wkts in a crunch game. 😦

    1. Hey BP…where did you disappear all this time??

      Personally, the way things are shaping up, I wouldn’t mind if Dhoni picks a bowling attack of one pacer and three specialist spinners! Ashwin has some experience bowling with the new ball, so he can partner Zak at the start. India’s mantra might as well be ‘Spin to Win!’

      Yup, the middle order hasn’t been convincing for a while except for Kohli…can’t remember the last time Yuvraj, Dhoni and Raina played some good knocks…hopefully the World Cup will get their juices flowing!

      1. Caught up with work and family stuff…so following cricket has been taking a back seat, unfortunately! 😦

        But speaking of Dhoni…he must be especially pleased with Chawla’s form, given that he and Kirsten stood up for his selection. Also as your sketch had remarked a little while ago…his form with the toss is improving! 🙂

        Lastly, have you noticed how quickly Smith and Ponting have begun trying to pressure the curators? (and perhaps also started preparing a potential defence if their campaigns go south!) Both termed the pitches they played on (B’lore & Chennai) as “underprepared.” Personally, I agree with Manjrekar and Chappell…both termed it a wicket with something for everyone, and a good contest between bat and ball.

  3. Tracer,

    Piyush bowled well and as Rishabh said, definitely outbowled Ashwin. But, one good game shouldn’t change a lot, according to me. It will put him into reckoning for sure, but shouldn’t tempt the think tank to drop Ashwin who has been more consistent in the past year.

    1. Well, if Dhoni decides to go ahead with two spinners, I’m not too sure he will be convinced to play Ashwin..they already have off-spinners in Bhajji, Sehwag and Raina…He might be tempted to go with Chawla’s leg-breaks..

  4. Its always amusing to see touring captains complain about the ‘underprepared pitch’ and ‘tough conditions’ when they arrive on the subcontinent. What did they expect? Fast and bouncy pitches?? quit your whining and learn to win in any conditions, mate!

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