Five-time IPL-winning skipper Rohit Sharma has said that veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was a very good buy for the defending champions in the recent auction as his team needed an out-and-out attacking wrist spinner.
Piyush Chawla is one of the most underrated cricketers in IPL history. Having played for the likes of Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Chennai Super Kings in the last 13 seasons, Chawla has impinged himself as one of the all-time IPL greats.
Chawla, who had a rare poor season last year when he featured for the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, is the third leading wicket-taker in IPL history and having played with him since his U-19 days, Rohit Sharma knows that Piyush Chawla is a very attacking bowler and he will fill the only gap that Mumbai Indians have in their set-up: spin department.
“I have played with Piyush since U-19 days and I know he is a very attacking bowler which is something we wanted in our spin bowling department. He was a good buy, to get him into our squad. He is one of the highest wicket-takers in the IPL. He knows the format and opposition, he knows the players,” Rohit Sharma said in a video posted on the official Twitter account of Mumbai Indians.
Chawla was picked for a sum of Rs 2.4 crores by the Mumbai Indians. Speaking about playing for tge defending champions in IPL 2021, the leg-spinner said-
“I got to know that I have been picked by Mumbai Indians at the auction, so I was quite happy and excited because you want to be a part of the team which is a defending champion and that has done so well in the IPL. So it’s really nice.”
“I have seen Rahul, I have played cricket with Jayant Yadav and Krunal Pandya. It is very important to share each other’s experiences. There would be many things that I know and they wouldn’t, it works vice-versa as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan, the director of cricket of Mumbai Indians, pinpointed Piyush Chawla’s ability to bowl with the new ball as one of the reasons behind him getting picked in the auction.
“He has been bowling with the new ball so that has also been a point of discussion when we were looking at finding that experienced leg-spinner. We also have Rahul Chahar in the team who is a upcoming young talent. Experience of Piyush will help him. Piyush has been in pressure situations, he has a big role to play and hopefully, will be able to mentor other spinners in the squad,” said Zaheer Khan.
Mumbai Indians will kickstart their IPL 2021 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 09 in Chennai. And, with the match set to take place on a spin-friendly track, it will be interesting to see if Piyush Chawla makes his Mumbai Indians debut on Friday.