Chawla poses selection headache for India

Leg-spinners performance against Australia impresses captain.

Afp February 14, 2011
Chawla poses selection headache for India

BANGALORE: India captain MS Dhoni was grappling with a selection puzzle after a match-winning performance by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in a World Cup warm-up game against Australia.

Chawla, who returned to the One-Day International (ODI) side during the series in South Africa after a three-year break, was a surprise inclusion in a World Cup squad that included Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin.

With spinners Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Yusuf Pathan bolstering the slow bowling department, Chawla’s selection sparked a debate. But he forced the Indian team management into a serious rethink on their playing eleven after picking off four wickets for 31 runs to fashion India’s 38-run win.

“One of the reasons for his selection was our need to have a spinner who can bat a bit,” said Dhoni. “If he could contribute 15 to 20 runs then it would be good for the side. It’s a bit of headache who to play with the kind of talent we have in the team but it’s good for the team.”

Chawla said his warm-up performance could work in his favour once the tournament starts on Saturday with an India-Bangladesh match in Dhaka.“We have a few good spinners in the squad,” said the 22-year-old Chawla. “If the pitch is slow and offers some turn, I will have a good chance to make it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2011.


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