Lucknow is reached by the 'Pushy' Chawla return trail

Lucknow is reached by the Pushy Chawla return trail

The Ekana Cricket Stadium, the newest international stadium in the state, will host Piyush Chawla's first game as a professional athlete. He's already anticipating it. Not so much by playing in front of his "home crowd" even if he is wearing a Mumbai Indians jersey, but more by the possibility of a spin-friendly surface, which Lucknow has repeatedly promised in IPL 2023.

He stated openly on Tuesday, prior to MI's match against Lucknow Super Giants, "After bowling at Wankhede, I'm excited (to bowl) everywhere."

Because of the injuries to Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer, Chawla has been the cornerstone of Mumbai Indians' bowling attack. For the seasoned legspinner, who has dominated the competition over the years but fell out of favor with the clubs last season, it's almost like a second coming.


He admitted, "To be quite honest, I don't even have a reason why I missed out last year. "I saw no justification for missing out. It's all a part of life, though. There will always be ups and downs. I figured I would get a call soon after watching the IPL last year with all the spin-related activity. I worked on the usual things, and the results are here for you to see.

He said that "I made a comeback for my son" despite being 12 games and 19 wickets down in the IPL 2023.

When Chawla joined the County squad to fill the vacuum left by club great Mushtaq Ahmed, his Sussex teammates dubbed him "Pushy." Chawla was compelled to live up to the moniker 13 years later when toying with a commentary job for the IPL broadcasters, not that the term had any other connotation other rhyming with that of another overseas legspinner named "Mushy."

"Last year, when I wasn't selected for the IPL, many things were going through my head. As a result, I was unable to choose if I ought to play or pursue other options. But my child is developing and picking up a lot of knowledge. He used to get enthusiastic while watching the IPL. My family advised me to attempt playing if I could only push one more yard. I am therefore playing and working hard for him.

Chawla's career has perhaps fallen short of its potential in some ways. Even though he had early success and made his Test debut at age 17, it never really took off. Only 35 international games saw him play, and his last appearance was in 2012, when he was just 23 years old. He was a member of India's two most recent World Cup-winning teams (2007 T20 WC and 2011 50-over WC), however he hardly had any significant influence.

He did well in the IPL, though, and is still the third-highest wicket-taker in the competition's history, but he didn't have as many standout seasons as he had hoped for. However, he acknowledged that there wasn't much to improve upon since he switched the microphone for the ball this season. He is willing to back up since he is sufficiently confident in his abilities.

"I didn't do anything special (for the comeback)," he admitted. "If you've been playing for 20 years, there's no need to change anything. You simply go about your daily business. I really believe in strengthening your own weaknesses and working on your fundamentals. I was attending and participating in any T20 games I could. I'm not really interested in bowling in the nets anymore. I want to bowl in games and experience that difficulty.

Even though he'll likely face off against another senior leggie in the other camp, Amit Mishra, who is 40 years old and has experienced a similar second wind to his career this season, he is still regarded as a veteran at the age of 34. Chawla, though, believes that he still has plenty of motivation and wants to keep pushing himself farther in his career.

"I've never considered retiring. I'll continue to play for ten more years if I get my way. I'll keep pushing myself until everything runs smoothly and I feel like I can contribute my all to the team.

He is currently content with his results and pleased for his colleagues from his native state of Uttar Pradesh who are succeeding. "There are several young players (from UP) who are performing well while playing for other teams. I still recall that I was in charge of the team when Rinku entered (the UP side). You can see the stage he is at right now. Kuldeep too. I'm really delighted when I see these players that have advanced to such high heights. I hope the other young people put in a lot of effort and continue UP cricket's heritage.

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