Two years ago, during the IPL auction, Chennai Super Kings had bought Piyush Chawla for a sum of Rs 4.2 crore, but Kolkata Knight Riders, for whom the legspinner had been playing since 2014, used the Right to Match Card and acquired him back.
Back then, CSK had to wait, but not anymore. Slotted in the Rs 1 crore bracket, CSK and KKR once again began bidding heavily for Chawla, only this time, it were the three-time champions who won the battle and welcomed the legspinner to their side. The bidding war went on for quite some time, before CSK sealed the deal at Rs 6.75 crore, making Chawla the costliest Indian buy at the IPL 2020 auction.
With 150 IPL wickets from 157 matches, Chawla has the wealth of experience having played all editions so far, and is banking on it to delivery for his new team. Last year, CSK was called the daddy’s arms, since the average age of players from the squad was 32. Chawla, 30, is their latest addition.
“Experience always matters in T20 cricket. When you are in a tough situation, you can always fall back on your previous experience to come out of difficult circumstances. So I am happy to be a part of daddy’s army,” Chawla told Times of India.
“Even during the auctions two years back, CSK had bid for me. But KKR used the RTM card to retain my services. I am happy that CSK have kept their faith again in me. The price tag won’t add to any pressure and I want to deliver.”
Chawla’s addition further strengthens CSK’s impressive stock of spinners, that already brags Mitchell Santner, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja. But going by the nature of Chepauk’s surface, CSK won’t mind dealing with this problem of plenty.
“Chennai is like my second home. Traditionally, the pitches here do help spinners but then one has to be at the top of their game to extract the turn. I have always believed in the philosophy that you can contain the batsmen only by taking wickets. So I will have an aggressive mindset,” Chawla said.
Chawla’s biggest moment of his cricket career remains winning the 2011 World Cup for India, and although it’s been a while, the legspinner is excited to once again play under his WC winning captain, MS Dhoni.
“Dhoni is the best captain in the world. We know how calm and composed he always is but the freedom he gives his bowlers to express themselves is something which I will relish,” he added.