IPL Auction 2021: Piyush Chawla gives MI valuable experience, says Zaheer

Mumbai Indians director of cricket, Zaheer Khan, believes Chawla’s experience made the side opt for the leg-spinner.

Piyush Chawla played for CSK in the last season. - SPORTZPICS/BCCI

Piyush Chawla bagged a hefty ₹2.4 crore contract with Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 Auction on Thursday. MI will be the fourth IPL team he will be playing for; he has represented Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings thus far.

MI director of cricket, Zaheer Khan, believes Chawla’s experience made the side opt for the spinner.

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 “We were looking for experience. Piyush is someone who has been part of the World Cup-winning side. He’s been under pressure in those situations of what we felt he also brings to the table is this bowling with the new ball,” Zaheer said.

“I think that’s not an easy task for any bowler, and particularly if you’re a spinner and that, too, a wrist spinner. So, that is something which he has been doing fantastically well. And that has certainly caught our eyes when we looked at Piyush. So we released a youngster - a leg-spinner - and we’ve added with experience and then someone who can bring a different side to our setup,” the former India speedster said.

'Exciting times'

Chawla was picked by Chennai Super Kings last year, but was released ahead of this year’s auction after a rather forgettable show in the IPL 2020, which was held in the UAE.

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In this auction, the franchises have given importance to fast bowlers and Zaheer is happy with such a development. “It’s very exciting news for sure to see all fast bowlers are in demand. It’s something which over the 12-plus years now that the franchises have taken note of and there’s slowly a rise in demand and that competition we’ve seen in the auction...  So it’s exciting times for the bowling all-rounders and bowlers across,” Zaheer said.

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