If you thought spinners were the punching bags of Indian Premier League, think again. Three of the highest wicket-takers in IPL are spinners and Kolkata Knight Riders' Piyush Chawla is the latest to join an exclusive club.
The chubby leg-spinner notched a 'century' of wickets during KKR's match against Delhi Daredevils at the Kotla on Monday evening. Chawla accounted for Delhi opener Shreyas Iyer and then got Yuvraj Singh stumped to finish with 2 for 27 off four overs.
The 26-year-old former Kings XI Punjab player Chawla has captured 100 wickets at an average of 26.22 in 102 matches and became the fourth bowler to complete a century of wickets in the IPL. (Yusuf Pathan Will do Something Special in IPL 8: Gambhir)
Chawla has joined Lasith Malinga (124), Amit Mishra (106) and Harbhajan Singh (100). Chawla's feat of reaching the landmark in 102 matches is the slowest in the IPL.
In and out of the Indian team, Chawla, a classical leg-spinner who loves to give the ball some air and buy his wickets, is happy to get a 100 wickets in a tournament where batsmen have grabbed headlines.
"Players from across the world come to play in this tournament and it is quite challenging. Reaching that landmark of 100 wickets is something I will cherish," Chawla told the IPL's official website.
Chawla adjusted his flight and the knowledge of the Kotla helped the UP spinner on Monday. (Just Focusing on my Line and Length: Umesh)
"I knew I just had to follow my basics and bowl at a good pace. I knew I couldn't really flight (the ball) too much on this ground (Kotla) because there wasn't much help from the wicket. It was a little bit on the slower side so I was using a flatter trajectory today and it helped me a lot," Chawla said.
Batsmen have often made the fatal error of picking leg-spinners as scoring options. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir thus spaced out Chawla's four overs and managed to tie down Delhi's run rate. Both Iyer and Yuvraj's wickets proved costly for the Daredevils.
"We leg-spinners have (used) that attacking thinking (to our advantage) as well; we know that we might go for a couple of boundaries but (at the same time) we might get wickets (due to that). As a leg-spinner I am more than happy conceding two boundaries and getting a wicket," Chawla said.
With Sunil Narine yet to spin his mystery with a remodeled action, KKR will bank on Chawla this season. With a lot of batting depth in Gambhir's team, Chawla will probably be able to buy his wickets this season.