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Chawla raring to have a go at Proteas

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2008 14:55 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
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After being named as Murali Kartik’s replacement for the first two Tests against South Africa, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla is ready for the responsibility placed on his young shoulders. While sympathising with Kartik, who has been ruled out for at least three weeks with an ankle injury, Chawla was excited about the future.

“I will play to my strengths and according to the situation,” he said on Wednesday, a day before Central Zone’s Deodhar Trophy match against South, who are yet to log a point after one match compared to their opponents’ 10 from two outings.

“To be bowling along with Anil bhai is a great honour. I have learnt a lot from the way he works out and keeps fit even at this age. Taking 600 Test wickets is no small achievement,” he said.

Chawla, who played his only Test against England in Mohali two years ago, said he would be happy to pick up two wickets and help his team win than take five wickets and end up on the losing side. “Leg-spinners are attacking bowlers. But when the situation demands, I have to play a supporting role and I am ready for that.”

The 19-year-old said being part of the victorious Twenty20 World Championship team and the one-day team that won in Australia had done his confidence a world of good.

“It was a great experience to be part of the winning teams early in my career and I will carry the confidence forward.”

On the secret of the Indian team’s success, Chawla said, “The team is playing aggressive cricket and the atmosphere in the dressing room is great. For a team to succeed, unity is important.”

Central next take on South Zone, who will be without two crucial players. VVS Laxman, who is fine to bat but does not want to take a chance on the field with his recently split webbing, will sit out. Sreesanth, who was also part of the squad, will also be absent after the board directed all fast bowlers who will take part in the South Africa Tests to take rest. Central have 10 points from two matches while hosts South have none from one.