Piyush Pramod Chawla
December 24, 1988, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
Left hand bat
Piyush Chawla is one for early impact. As a 15-year-old he represented India Under-19 and Uttar Pradesh U-22. Before he made his first-class debut, at 17, he had already bowled Sachin Tendulkar with a googly in a Challenger Series match. In his first first-class season, he took 35 wickets and scored 224 runs to help UP win their first Ranji Trophy. In his teens he played two Test matches too, against England and South Africa. He took three wickets on ODI debut in Bangladesh in 2007, and 14 during India's tour of Ireland and England the same year, often troubling Kevin Pietersen with the googlies and the straighter ones.
Chawla is a legspinner who has good control and variations, but can do with a bigger stock legbreak to make the other aspects of his bowling more effective. He has not been able to make himself a permanent place in the Indian team so far, losing out to a more conventional legspinner Amit Mishra after Anil Kumble retired from Tests. He stayed closer to the ODI team, also helped by an impressive performance in the first IPL. But after an ordinary Asia Cup in Pakistan in 2008, he was sent back to domestic cricket to work on his game. After a long time in the side-lines, when the likes of Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha overtook him in the Indian spinner stakes, Chawla made a surprise comeback to the side when he was included for the World Twenty20 in 2010, and then made it to the squad for the 2011 World Cup.
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