This is the second in a series of blogs talking about players who could represent India in the near future. The first article spoke about two batsmen – Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary.
Piyush Chawla is not a completely new name to Indian cricket fans as they have already seen him in action against England when he debuted at the age of 17. A leg spinner in the classical mould, he came in to prominence in the England U-19 tour and then took the wicket of one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar clean bowled with a googly in a Challenger trophy match.
Although India won the game, his test debut against England was less than spectacular – he sent down around 15 overs and took just one wicket – that of Freddie Flintoff.
He has had a dip in form with the ball this season with only 16 wickets in 6 matches in the Ranji Trophy and just one 5-for (compared to 35 wickets in 7 matches in the last season with 4 five-fors). His batting has improved though, and he has had a couple of good knocks this season – a 75 against Saurashtra and a 61 against New Delhi.
Time is however on his side and he will improve with more matches and some exposure to touring sides and selections in India A teams. BCCI would also do well to send him to Terry Jenner to hone his skills. With India’s spin cupboard looking quite barren, Piyush Chawla offers us some hope. It is upto BCCI to nurture this youngster to make sure that he is not lost like the other 17 year old legspinner who promised so much, yet only flattered to deceive – L. Sivaramakrishnan.