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‘Psychological pressure on Oz’

I feel it will be a very good Test series, says Piyush Chawla after returning 2 for 46 from 21 overs, including the prized scalp of Ricky Ponting. Anand Vasu reports.

cricket Updated: Oct 03, 2008 22:26 IST
Anand Vasu

Piyush Chawla looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth but the diminutive legspinner showed that he has a smart head on his shoulders to go with a well-disguised googly when he landed the first salvo in the war of words that normally accompanies any Australia series.

"The way we have done well here — and the Test team is much better than us batting wise as well as bowling wise — will give us a very good mental advantage," said Chawla soon after returning 2 for 46 from 21 overs, including the prized scalp of Ricky Ponting. "There will be psychological pressure on the Australians. I feel it will be a very good Test series."

Both Chawla and Pragyan Ojha, the other specialist spinner in the BP XI team, kept things tight and troubled the batsmen, unlike their Australian counterpart, Jason Krejza, who returned 0 for 123 from 20 overs on the first day and was not even called upon to bowl on the second.

Chawla, who troubled Australia's batsmen through the course of his accurate spell, kept things simple. "I was just planning to bowl in the right areas. It's very important to just bowl in the right areas and be patient against such batsmen on this kind of wickets. My stock delivery is the wrong 'un. I bowled that and got his (Ponting's) wicket."

At the same time he did manage to score another quick point, saying: "We have world-class bowlers in the Test side doing a great job. The way Anil bhai and Bhajji bhai are bowling, they are in great rhythm. It is not going to be easy for these guys."

Chawla, who has bowled against some of the Australians in the past, during the two finals of the recent ODI triseries which India won, was not intimidated at having to bowl at some legends. "I was there just to bowl good balls. Pressure will always be there, whether you are a spinner or a fast bowler," said Chawla. "I know that he [Ponting] is a world-class player but if he has a bat, I have a ball to bowl at him too."

But it was not all offence from Chawla, who rounded things off dismissing suggestions that he had the upper hand against Ponting. "He is a world-class player and he has destroyed all the greatest bowlers all around the world," said Chawla. "I never thought I had the upper hand."