I have worked really hard for comeback - Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla, the Kings XI Punjab legspinner who has made a comeback into the Indian team for the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, is eager to grab the opportunity and cement his place in the national side.
"I have worked really hard during the last one-and-a-half years to earn my comeback. Now that the selectors have chosen me for the job, I need to deliver the goods and make a long-lasting impression. I want to be part of the Indian team for a longer period and for that the World Twenty20 will be the most important tournament for me. The competition is tough but I need to stand out," Chawla told PTI.
Chawla was pleased with his form in the IPL, where he picked 12 wickets in Punjab's 14 league games. "I enjoyed bowling on the Indian tracks as I was able to extract turn from the wickets and was happy to deceive the batsmen in the air. I am in fine form and bowling with rhythm. The IPL was only a dress-rehearsal for the World Twenty20," he said.
Chawla was confident that the pitches in the West Indies would aid spin. "I have never played in the West Indies. But I have been told that the Caribbean wickets are quite similar to the Indian ones. So, I am quite keen on bowling there. I have had a good domestic seasons but my IPL form will give me the required boost and confidence," he said.
Chawla was excited by the prospect of playing a support role to first-choice spinner Harbhajan Singh during the tournament. "I have had the opportunity of bowling with Harbhajan Singh on several occasions. I remember bowling alongside him in Australia in 2008. I was selected with Bhajji paaji when we won the first World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, but unfortunately got injured. I hope the combination can work for India."
The World Twenty20 begins five days after the finals of the IPL, raising the issue of fatigue, but Chawla believed that it would not be a problem. "I don't think so [that fatigue will have an impact]. Our top players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are in top form so I think this will help them in the West Indies because we won't have to start from the scratch. Also we have had closer look at our opposition players, so it will help us in a big way," Chawla said.