‘We value his experience really highly’: Zaheer Khan reckons MI’s ‘senior-most’ player has a ‘bigger role to play’
Former Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla will be in action for defending champions Mumbai Indians in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which begins on Friday in Chennai. This will be the fourth franchise for Chawla, after having represented Punjab Kings (earlier Kings XI Punjab), Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings in the previous seasons.
Piyush Chawla will enter into the competition with a bag full of experience. He has played 140 games in the league and has 156 wickets to his name. Moreover, he is the 3rd-highest wicket taker of the IPL after Lasith Malinga (170) and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (160).
The Mumbai Indians management is looking forward to utilize Chawla’s experience to nurture its young crop of spinners. Team’s Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan has said that the skill-set of the veteran leg-spinner will help the side in pressure situations in this year’s IPL.
“He has been bowling with the new ball, so that has also been a point of discussion when we’re looking at finding that experienced leg-spinner. We value his experience really highly. We have Rahul Chahar also in the team, who is an upcoming, young talent. The experience of Piyush Chawla is surely going to help him as well,” said Zaheer, in a video posted on MI’s Twitter handle.
“Piyush Chawal is going to bring not only his game or his skill-set to the team but also his wealth of experience. He has been in pressure situations. He has a bigger role to play. He is going to be the senior-most spinner in the squad and with his experience, I am sure he will be able to mentor all these spinners which have in the squad and sharing those experiences has always worked,” Zaheer added.
The 32-year-old Chawla, on his part, said that it was great to be picked up by the defending champions for IPL 2021.
“I am quite happy and excited because you want to be a part of a team which is a defending champion and has done so well in the IPL, so it's really nice.
“I have seen Rahul (Chahar) and played cricket with Jayant (Yadav) and Krunal (Pandya), so it is very important to share each other's experience, because there might be things which Krunal knows and I don't. The things I know, that Rahul doesn't know. So, it is important to develop an understanding and you can take it forward,” said Chawla.
Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener of IPL 2021.