NEW DELHI: From veterans like Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh to relative novices like Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson, cricketers aplenty are using the Indian Premier League 2015 to pave their way into Team India.
And at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Monday, it was the turn of two such contenders — Kolkata Knight Riders’ Piyush Chawla and Delhi Daredevils’ Manoj Tiwary — to stake their claim for a return to the national set-up.
Opponents on the day, but united by their ambition, the duo who got their first real go in the IPL 2015 managed to stand out among their teammates. Chawla, now 26, who hasn’t worn the blue shirt for over two years, carried his team to victory, while Tiwary ended up on the losing side though it was not for want of trying.
Chawla’s first scalps in the new IPL season also incidentally brought up his 100th wicket in the tournament — a milestone he now shares with an elite group that constitutes Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra.
“IPL is a prestigious tournament where players from across the world come to play. It is quite a challenging tournament and reaching the landmark of 100 wickets is something I will cherish,” said Chawla after his two-wicket haul.
The leg-spinner, who in 2006 at the age of 17 became the youngest Test debutant for India after Sachin Tendulkar, added that his bowling effort against Delhi could be a springboard to further success this term.
“The season has just started and it’s just two wickets. I hardly bowled in the first two matches but after this match, I am getting the confidence back,” Chawla said.
For the 29-year-old Tiwary, on the other hand, it was the satisfaction of having made the most of the opportunity after getting his first chance with the bat for Daredevils this term. “It was my first opportunity to bat in this IPL and I am happy with the way I scored runs,” he said.
However, disappointment was written all over the Delhi batsman’s face after his 32-run knock went in vain. “I should have continued for a few more overs, but unfortunately got out. I was batting well and if we had gone on to win the match, it would have been better,” said Tiwary, who was involved in partnerships of 36 and 37 with Shreyas Iyer and Yuvraj Singh respectively.
Kick-starting their IPL campaigns in the colours of their respective IPL franchises on Monday, it will not be much of a surprise if the two come together in the Indian blue sometime in the near future.