Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma has revealed the reason behind securing the signature of Piyush Chawla for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Rohit said that MI needed an attacking spinner like Chawla in their side. "I have played with Piyush since U-19 days and I know he is a very attacking bowler which is something we wanted in our spin bowling department. He was a good buy, to get him into our squad. He is one of the highest wicket-takers in the IPL. He knows the format and opposition, he knows the players," Rohit said in a video posted on MI's Twitter account.
After an intense bidding war with Delhi Capitals (DC), Chawla was finally picked up by MI for INR 2.4 crore from a base price of INR 50 lakh. Speaking on the opportunity to play for MI, Chawla said, "I got to know that I have been picked by Mumbai Indians at the auction, so I was quite happy and excited because you want to be a part of the team which is a defending champion and that has done so well in the IPL. So it's really nice."
"I have seen Rahul, I have played cricket with Jayant Yadav and Krunal Pandya. It is very important to share each other's experiences. There would be many things that I know and they wouldn't, it works vice-versa as well," he added.
MI's Director of Cricket said that the fact that Chawla can bowl with the new ball is the main reason behind MI bidding for him. "He has been bowling with the new ball so that has also been a point of discussion when we were looking at finding that experienced leg-spinner. We also have Rahul Chahar in the team who is an upcoming young talent. The experience of Piyush will help him. Piyush has been in pressure situations, he has a big role to play and hopefully, will be able to mentor other spinners in the squad," said Zaheer.
Chawla is one of the leading wicket-taker in the IPL, having picked up 156 wickets from164 matches at an average of 20.83. Chawla started off with Kings XI Punjab and then moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 - season in which the franchise won it's second title. After six seasons with KKR, Chawla moved down south to Chennai Super Kings for just one season, before moving to MI.
Defending champions MI take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the first match of the tournament on Friday (April 9) in Chennai.