Piyush Chawla: M.S. Dhoni the best captain, CSK the finest franchise

Piyush Chawla, picked by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 6.75 crore in the IPL auction, is keen to bowl in partnership with Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh.

India international Piyush Chawla in action at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIJAY SONEJI

 

Bubbly face, disarming smile and a vicious googly. When Piyush Chawla operates, there is colour, joy and an enthusiasm that has not dimmed with age.

He appears to have been around forever but Chawla is still only 30.

And he is still in demand, bought for a whopping Rs. 6.75 crore by the Chennai Super Kings.

“M.S. Dhoni, the best captain, and CSK, the finest franchise, what more you can ask for. Even CSK’s away matches seem like home games, there is so much support for the side,” said Chawla to Sportstar.

He is familiar with Chennai having turned out for Jolly Rovers in the TNCA first division. “I like Chennai’s culture and Chepauk buzzes with vibrancy.”

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Having spent six years with Kings XI Punjab and another six with Kolkata Knight Riders — he has 150 IPL scalps to share the joint-third spot with Harbhajan Singh in the all-time list — Chawla is eyeing a long tenure at CSK.

And he is excited to be playing with old mates again. “My former Uttar Pradesh team-mate Suresh Raina, he is more of a brother to me now. Harbhajan paaji, there is always laughter in the dressing room when he is around. And Mahi bhai, so dynamic and calm.”

Chawla is thrilled by CSK’s stable of world class spinners, men such as Harbhajan, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, and Mitchell Santner.

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He, in fact, is looking forward to be bowling in tandem with the exuberant Tahir. “He brings so much energy to the ground. The way he runs around, celebrates. It rubs off on the entire team.”

For 12 seasons, CSK had been an adversary for Chawla. “CSK was always a feared team. They could come back from any situation. You had to be on your toes. And then, they have Mahi bhai, the ace in the pack.”

In a reversal of roles, Chawla will be parading his skills for CSK, now bowling a googly, slipping in a top spinner and sending down a flipper.

It will be fun and games for this leggie who can alter scripts.

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