Can't think of better captain than MS Dhoni to play under: Chawla

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20 Dec 2019 | 05:46 AM
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PTI

Can't think of better captain than MS Dhoni to play under: Chawla

His long-time association with KKR ended last month when he was released by them

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"There can't be a better team than CSK to play for and better captain than MS Dhoni," said veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla after the Chennai Super Kings bought him for Rs 6.75 crore, making him the costliest Indian buy at the IPL auction.

Chawla's long-time association with Kolkata Knight Riders ended last month when he was released by them. He was no more a certainty in the KKR playing eleven with Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine being ahead of him in the pecking order.

"As a player, you always want to be with a good team, play under a good captain and you can't have a better team than CSK and a better leader than Mahi bhai. I can't ask for more," Chawla told PTI from his hometown Moradabad.

The Aligarh-born cricketer, who was part of India's World Cup winnings squads in 2007 (T20) and 2011 (ODI), experienced butterflies in the stomach ahead of the auction but he was not at home to catch the action on television. He played three Tests, 25 ODIs and seven T20s for India. His last international game was in December 2012.

Chawla revealed that KKR communicated of their decision to release him well in advance and he has no hard feelings towards the franchise.

"It all depends on the combination. The KKR think-tank probably had a different combination on their mind. On Eden Gardens wicket now, there is not much for the spinners.

"They also told me that 'we are looking for fast bowlers and there is no point having three quality spinners in the team' and that is why they released me. So there is no bad blood between us. It is all in a healthy way," said Chawla, who now plays Ranji Trophy for Gujarat, having moved from Uttar Pradesh.

Chawla is thankful for the faith Dhoni and the CSK team management has showed in him but his place in the XI is not a given, considering the presence of Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja in the CSK squad.

"It is too early to talk about that (my place in the eleven). Chennai is a big ground, it suits my style of bowling. Not many people know that I have played a lot of club cricket in Chennai in the past 12 years," said Chawla.

Chawla said he attracting a good price reaffirms that leg-spinners never go out of fashion. He also expected CSK to bid for him.

"In the last big auction also, my last bid was stopped at CSK but KKR used the Right to Match (RTM card) to retain me. They have always showed faith in me.

"As you said, we (leggies) never go out of fashion. It is is always the attacking option. You are bound to go for runs in the T20s but also have a chance to take wickets."

Chawla added that he has no regrets in life and has not yet given up on an India comeback, having played his last international game seven years ago.

"That is how it goes. It is not only about cricket, you go through highs and lows in life in general. There is fun in that.

"I am still 30. I have been playing Ranji Trophy also. Basically, wherever I get to play, I go. I just love this game. If India comeback has to happen, it will happen," Chawla added.

Yashasvi and Tyagi future prospects for team: Rajasthan Royals co-owner

Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale on Thursday said Indian under-19 players Yashasvi Jaiswal and Kartik Tyagi were bought as future prospects for the team.

Rajasthan fetched the U-19 World Cup-bound duo of Jaiswal and Tyagi for Rs 2.40 and 1.3 crores respectively.

"I think with Jaiswal and even Tyagi, they are players who we think can play a very important role for Royals over the next 4-5 years," Badale said.

"There is a lot of money in the room spent on very small number of players, therefore the inflated prices. But I think that's quite tough for young players, it's probably nice for their families.

"But it's tough for them in terms of the pressure, so you have to be clear with them. That it is a three to four-year journey that you want to take them on."

Jaiswal has been in stellar form, playing for Mumbai in the domestic season.

In the prestigious Vijay Hazare Trophy in September-October, he struck 203 off 154 balls, including 12 sixes and 17 boundaries, to become the youngest batsman to hit a double hundred in List A cricket.

He tallied an impressive 564 runs at an average of 112.80 with three hundreds and a fifty during this season.

Rajasthan also managed to bring back Jaydev Unadkat after releasing the left-arm medium pacer ahead of the auction.

"We think Jaydi's still one of India's finest quick bowlers, and that's always been proven by the fact every time we've bought him or bought him back in the auction, there's been other franchises looking for him," said Badale.

"So he fills a very specific slot. He works well with our captain (Steve Smith). They have a terrific relationship. And he fits really well into the role. So we're very pleased to have him back."

Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani, who splurged on the Australian duo of Chris Lynn (Rs 2 crores) and Nathan Coulter Nile (Rs 9 crores) said the franchise was satisfied with its purchases in the auctions.

"We had identified the seven slots that we wanted to fill. It was very critical for us to get Lynn and Coulter-Nile," he said.

"Of course Saurabh Tiwary has been with us. His last scores for Mumbai Indians has been three fifties. We are well set and very happy with our buys. I think some of them are steals at base price. We had never accounted them to go for a base price because they were of course capped players and very happy with them."

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