Kolkata Knight Riders leg-spinner Piyush Chawla said bowling with West Indian mystery spinner Sunil Narine was largely helpful but insisted it could be a double-edged sword at times.
Chawla, who has been discarded from Team India since playing the last of his three Tests against England in 2012, was once again Gautam Gambhir's trump card, removing Chennai Super Kings' danger men Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis as KKR got off to a winning start in the Champions League Twenty20. (Match Report | Highlights)
After the Super Kings had blazed away to 37/0 in 3.5 overs, Chawla and Narine put the brakes on the opposition, by restricting the flow of runs and picking up three wickets between them.
Narine was miserly as usual, giving away nine runs in his four overs. Bowling with someone as economical should usually be a boost, but Chawla admitted it also backfired on occasions.
"Bowling with him does help at times, like it did today (Wednesday). He bowled four overs and gave away only nine runs. That took the pressure off me at the other end," Chawla told CLT20.com
"However, sometimes, it also works the other way. Batsmen will often look to play Sunil out and that means I would be their hitting target. It does give you a better chance to pick wickets but also increases your chances of being clobbered."
Chawla did well to hit a rhythm immediately. Leg-spinners like to take some time to settle into their line and length and the T20 format is more often than not a death nail for the breed. But Chawla, who has also appeared for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL said bowling short spells and delivering in four overs is a challenge he enjoyed.
"It is a challenge and we have to adapt to it. What I personally do is I bowl 25-30 balls at a stretch before the game starts"
"That helps me get into the groove when I actually come on to bowl and I don't feel rusty," said Chawla.
The Knight Riders play all the rest of their league games in Hyderabad. Chawla admits playing at the same venue is a huge advantage in a short tournament.
"In a short tournament like this, it is a good advantage if you're playing all your league games at one venue. It gives you the chance to get used to the conditions and the wicket and enables you to plan your strategies in a better way. It also saves you from the hectic traveling," added Chawla.