Piyush Chawla hoping to use county stint as launchpad to resume international career

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“After my last spell in county cricket, I received an international call-up and I’m hoping the same happens this time around”

India spinner Piyush Chawla is hoping his county stint with Somerset can be used as a launchpad to help resume his international career.

After playing a couple of matches, Chawla revealed that he had already “picked up tips” on ways to improve his bowling.

“After my last spell in county cricket, I received an international call-up and I’m hoping the same happens this time around,” he said. “I’m hoping that the volume of wickets and runs catches the eye of the selectors back home in India.

“I think it’s vital to grab this opportunity, perform consistently, and ensure that I make the selectors sit up and take notice of my performances.”

Chawla represented Sussex in 2009 and went on to claim 36 victims in six County Championship matches at an average of 27.25, which earned him a recall into the Indian national team for the 2010 World Twenty20.

“I want a repeat of my performance for Sussex when I played there four years ago,” he said. “That spell in county cricket really gave me confidence and was a massive boost for my career.”

In his debut for Somerset, which was against Warwickshire, Chawla bowled 34 overs but did not end up taking a wicket.

However, the 24-year-old revealed that he had learnt a lot by playing alongside Ireland left-arm spinner George Dockrell.

“There are areas of my bowling that I need to improve upon,” Chawla added. “Leg spin is a very difficult art and I believe it’s one of the most difficult skills to master in cricket. I feel I’m learning with each match.

“Even during my debut for Somerset, despite taking no wickets, the game was a learning experience for me. I wasn’t up to the mark and watching George Dockrell bowl made me realise where I was going wrong. He bowled at a slower pace than I did and he reaped the benefits.”

Chawla last represented India during their fourth Test against England last December, where he picked up four wickets in the first innings, which included those of Joe Root and Ian Bell.

Chawla admitted that he was infuriated at having been dropped after his stellar performance.

“I never imagined that seven years after my debut, I would have only played two more Tests,” he said. “My last Test … I thought I did well. That was a very flat deck against England and I was the leading wicket-taker in that match for India.

“However, I was not selected for the next series. I was greatly disappointed at not being given a chance in the following series, but the selectors must have had something else in their minds. All I can do is to wait for my opportunity. I’m still young and I have time on my side, but that figure of only three Tests is an eyesore for me.”

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