Is Piyush Chawla meant for World Cups only?

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Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 13:40 [IST]
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Is Piyush Chawla only for World Cups?

When one thinks of Piyush Chawla, the Indian legspinner, you associate him with the word "surprise". His India selections have always raised eyebrows. While some call it a "surprise", many others define it as a "shock".

Chawla's Career In Numbers

Whether it is "surprise", "shock" or a mystery, nobody really knows. All this because of his presence in only World Cups, be it Twenty20 or 50-over global tournaments.

There is no doubt that Chawla is a talented spinner. However, one has to question the selection committee's logic behind picking the Uttar Pradesh youngster only when there is a World Cup.

So far, Chawla has already featured in four World Cups (both T20 and 50-over). And he has two World Cup medals (2007 T20 and 2011 50-over).

When Chawla was called up for 2011 World Cup, it was a surprise selection. Again the selectors stunned all when he was picked for ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka.

After having played few games in 2011 World Cup, Chawla was overlooked for selection for One Day Internationals. His last ODI for India was against The Netherlands in World Cup in Delhi on March 9, 2011.

Since then he had not played any international match before he was sent to Sri Lanka for World T20 and he featured in the game against England on Sunday (September 23).

When he played in Colombo against England, Chawla was appearing in a T20I for India after June 12, 2010. It was more than two years.

India won the the inaugural World T20 title in 2007 in South Africa. Chawla was part of the squad but could not get a game. Later he was in World T20 2010 tournament too. He played two matches in the event making his T20I debut against South Africa on May 2, 2010. The tournament was held in the Caribbean. And India failed to reach the semi-finals.

Of the four global events Chawla has featured, India have won two. His contribution to one of them (2007 World T20) was zilch. In 2011, he played only three games and took four wickets in the tournament.

Since making his Test debut against England in 2006, Chawla has so far played two Tests, 25 ODIs and four T20Is. Will he again be ignored after the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka or will he get a long run this time. It is unlikely as R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have become the lead spinners and even Harbhajan Singh is finding it tough to break that combination. And Chawla had not done anything extraordinary to merit a recall to Indian squad for World T20 in Sri Lanka.

Chawla has another chance to make it a third World Cup medal in Sri Lanka this time. Is he India's lucky mascot for World Cups or is there something else that brings him into these most-important events?

The reason might be a mystery for the bowler himself and many Indian cricket fans.


Story first published:  Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 13:29 [IST]
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