Dec 142012

Piyush Chawla gets ready to bowl at the nets, Colombo, September 25, 2012Piyush Chawla said the umpiring mistakes were part and parcel of the game © AFP

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Piyush Chawla believes the Indian batting hasn’t failed, the bowling unit has been doing well, and that there is no need to panic. Replying to England’s 330 on a tacky surface, India – 2-1 down coming into the decider – were 87 for 4 with prospects of batting last on the pitch that can start breaking up any time.

“We have lost a few wickets, but we have two quality batsmen [Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni] at the crease,” said Chawla. “They are having a good partnership, they are seeing the ball really well, and hope for the best because the way these guys are middling it, we will like to have a good session in the morning.”

Asked if the batting failures have affected the bowling unit’s morale adversely, Chawla said: “There are phases. It’s not as if they have flopped a lot. We’re still we are scoring 300-350 every match. I don’t think it has affected the bowlers much. We are doing well as a bowling unit.”

Chawla said it was just one partnership – between Joe Root and Matt Prior – that thwarted them otherwise they restricted England well. England began the day at 199 for 5, and Chawla said they would have been happy if they had bowled India out for under 300. “We thought if we get one wicket at the start, we can stop them around under 300, but Prior and Joe Root batted really well,” he said. “Once we broke that partnership, we recovered well.”

Asked about how disappointing conceding lower-order runs were – England having been 139 for 5 at one stage – Chawla said, “As I said before, they got one big partnership, but after that we restricted them well.”

Chawla, who took 4 for 69, made a surprising comeback to the Test side in a season that he has averaged 54.30 with the ball. His first-class averages over the previous two seasons have been 40.61 and 41.04. He said the stats were bad because he has bowled on seaming tracks, and he hasn’t been getting long spells.

Chawla was asked – citing Cheteshwar Pujara’s disappointment at being given out caught off the elbow and pad – if it was high time that India agreed to using DRS. “Replays suggested that it was not out, but it is part and parcel of the game,” Chawla said. “At the end of the day, umpires are also human, so you can’t really say.”

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