Reviving an old art
Piyush Chawla has revived leg spin, almost a dying art in today?s cricket. The 16-year old prodigy stood out in the Challenger Trophy and his terrific display gives rise to hope that India may have a player ready to take over when Anil Kumble calls it a day.india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 04:55 IST
Piyush Chawla has revived leg spin, almost a dying art in today’s cricket. The 16-year old prodigy stood out in the Challenger Trophy and his terrific display gives rise to hope that India may have a player ready to take over when Anil Kumble calls it a day.
The kid from Moradabad hasn't lost his simplicity and wants to prove himself in the World Cup also. "I feel happy, but not proud when people say that I am a future replacement of Kumble. Right now my intention in cricket is to prove and establish my self," the soft-spoken Chawla told HT.
Chawla, who took 35 wickets in his debut Ranji Trophy season this year, including a five-wicket haul in the final against Bengal, was quite excited about the challenge in Sri Lanka.
“I have no certain plans but I will make sure that I help India win the coveted trophy for the second time,” he said. “Most of the team members are familiar with each other so we have developed a great understanding.”
Chawla does not come from a family of sportspersons. He began playing cricket in a nearby park in Aligarh. His uncle LR Singh advised father PK Chawla to put him up for serious training when he was just nine.
"I wanted to become a batsman in the beginning, but my coach KK Gautam told me to bowl in the matches too," recalls Chawla.
After impressing Bedi, Prasanna, and Chandrashekhar at the BCCI's Spin Academy, Chawla shot into limelight last year when he bamboozled the England U-19 team. He took 13 wickets in two Tests, at a shade over 12.
Thereafter, Chawla proved his mettle against the best of Australian u-19 talent in a series of five one-day matches a few months ago, where India won the series 4-1. Piyush finished with eight wickets at an average of 17.
He was chosen for the India B squad of the Challenger Trophy and there he impressed all, particularly with the googly in the final that sent back Sachin Tendulkar.
“Getting Sachin out was the biggest achievement of my life.”