Legspinner Piyush Chawla is hoping his stint with English county Somerset helps pitchfork him back into the Indian team. In his first two matches with Somerset, he said, he has already "picked up tips" that could improve aspects of his bowling.
"After my last spell in county cricket, I received an international call-up and I'm hoping the same happens this time around. I'm hoping that the volume of wickets and runs catches the eye of the selectors back home in India," Chawla told Pakpassion. "I think it's vital to grab this opportunity, perform consistently, and ensure that I make the selectors sit up and take notice of my performances."
Chawla had played for Sussex in 2009, claiming 36 wickets in six championship matches at 27.25, following which he was recalled for 2010 World Twenty20. "I want a repeat of my performance for Sussex when I played there four years ago. That spell in county cricket really gave me confidence and was a massive boost for my career."
In his first match for Somerset, Chawla went wicketless in 34 overs, against Warwickshire. But he learnt by observing his team-mate, Ireland left-arm spinner George Dockrell, he said. "There are areas of my bowling that I need to improve upon. Leg spin is a very difficult art and I believe it's one of the most difficult skills to master in cricket. I feel I'm learning with each match.
"Even during my debut for Somerset, despite taking no wickets, the game was a learning experience for me. I wasn't up to the mark and watching George Dockrell bowl made me realise where I was going wrong. He bowled at a slower pace than I did and he reaped the benefits."
Chawla last played an international during England's tour to India last December. In the Nagpur Test - only Chawla's third since his debut in 2006 - he picked up four wickets in the first innings, including those of Ian Bell and Joe Root. He was disappointed to not be given another go after that performance, he said. "I never imagined that seven years after my debut, I would have only played two more Tests. My last Test … I thought I did well. That was a very flat deck against England and I was the leading wicket-taker in that match for India.
"However, I was not selected for the next series. I was greatly disappointed at not being given a chance in the following series, but the selectors must have had something else in their minds. All I can do is to wait for my opportunity. I'm still young and I have time on my side, but that figure of only three Tests is an eyesore for me."