Chennai Super Kings (CSK) helped raise quite a few eyebrows when they went for leg-spinner Piyush Chawla at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 auction in Kolkata on Thursday.
CSK emerged victorious in a fierce bidding war and bought Chawla for a whopping Rs 6.75 crore. After buying Chawla, CSK now have a battery of spinners, including three leggies in their squad for the next IPL season.
Chawla joins a list of spinners, including Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mitchell Santner, apart from part-timers in Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav.
Towards the end of the auction, CSK also bought R Sai Kishore – Tamil Nadu’s left-arm spinner, who finished as the leading wicket-taker in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2019.
After buying Chawla, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming admitted that captain MS Dhoni’s equation with the spin bowler was one of the primary reasons why they bid hard for him at the auction. Rating the seasoned leg-spinner very highly, Fleming revealed that the move was a well-thought-out decision as CSK heavily rely on the spinners at Chepauk’s low and slow surface.
“We traded very hard (for Chawla), and certainly, the captain has a great relationship with him. He’s proven that he’s a quality leg-spinner which we value very highly,” Fleming said on Thursday.
The CSK coach added: “He’s a different type of bowler than Karn Sharma. We also had to make some decisions around how all fit in, but it was an opportunity that came up, and we took it. We have a pretty well-balanced squad. We’ve always favored spin, our home ground is very spin dominant, so having a lot of spinners is not a bad thing.”