The Telegraph
Saturday , December 15 , 2012
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Chawla praises ‘mature’ debutant

Nagpur: Piyush Chawla never quite looked unplayable in the ongoing fourth and final Test, but his figures do reflect that the leg-spinner has been the most effective bowler for India on the tricky Nagpur wicket.

Expectedly, Chawla seemed pleased with how he handled pressure in his comeback game at the end of the day. “There’s always pressure whenever you play... But this time around, there was a little bit more since I was making a comeback to the team after a long wait of four years. Still, it’s been good looking at how things started,” the leg-spinner said.

Chawla stopped short of admitting that India allowed England more runs than deserved, but was full of praise for young Joe Root, who stitched valuable partnerships with Matt Prior and Graeme Swann.

“We thought that if we get one wicket in the morning, we can restrict them to somewhere under the 300-mark. But Root and Prior batted really well. At the same time, we also kept up the good work after breaking their partnership. But you can’t take any credit away from Root. He is vry mature.”

“He looked like a mature player and during the amount of time he spent at the crease, he never looked uncomfortable out there,” was how Chawla put it.

Queried about the pitch, Chawla said that it was a tad better on the second day, compared to how it behaved on Day I. “I think the wicket played a little better today... It was coming on to the bat, when we guys bowled this morning. But let’s see how it turns out to be in the next three days. It may start turning a bit more from tomorrow,” he said.

Talking about India’s chances of a comeback after being reduced to 87 for four, Chawla believes that the presence of Virat Kohli and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the crease keep India very much alive.

“We did lose a few quick wickets. But having said that, we still have two quality batsmen at the crease and they seem to be having a good partnership. We’re hoping for the best since these guys are middling the ball well. If we play around 30 to 45 minutes without losing a wicket in the morning session on Day III, we can be in a good position,” he pointed out.

Asked about the dismissal of Cheteswar Pujara, who was given out caught even though the ball came off his forearm, Chawla played it down saying it’s a part and parcel of the game.

“Replays suggested he was not out, but it is all part and parcel of the game... At the end of the day, the umpires too are humans. So you need to keep that in the mind,” he said.