Test selection came as a surprise: Chawla
Hyderabad, Aug 21: Of all the names that the Indian national selectors put down in India’s 15-man squad for the Test series against New Zealand, one name generated more debate than any other. Piyush Chawla’s selection in the Test squad came as a surprise to many, not least the man himself.
In a brief chat with bcci.tv, the 23-year-old leg-spinner admitted being surprised to find his name in the Test squad and vouched to return the favour with a better performance than expected from him, if given a game.
Were you expecting the call-up?
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a call-up for the Tests. I was quite sure of being included in the Twenty20 team because I had a good IPL this year. The test selection was a good surprise for me.
What’s your mindset going into this series?
There is pressure on someone like me who’s making a comeback after a year. I know, if I get a chance to play, I have to come up with a much better performance than what people expect of me.
India’s spin attack is going through a bit of a testing time. That means it’s a good opportunity for you to make a mark.
Even in domestic circuit there are not many spinners around. I don’t just have to do well in this series to seal a regular spot in the team. I need to come up with performances regularly. I stand an advantage that along with my bowling, I can also contribute with the bat in the lower order.
You mentioned there being a dearth of spinners in India. What could be the reason?
Probably, everyone wants to bat or bowl fast. The wickets too have played a role. I made my first-class debut some eight years ago and we had spinner-friendly wickets in India then. But these days, you hardly find anything in the wickets for spinners.
And leg-spinners are an even rarer breed?
There are not too many leg-spinners in the world. Off-spin is an easier art as compared to leg-spin. Not many people are ready to get into leg-spinning. Also, as compared to finger-spin, leg-spin has to be bowled with a very unnatural bowling action.
The leggies also have to have a big heart, in terms of being taken for runs?
Leg-spin is an attacking option. If you want to pick up a wicket, you need to give runs with an open heart. It’s not easy for a leggie to contain the runs and pick up wickets at the same time.