Dhoni chooses mascot Chawla over in-form Mishra

MS Dhoni has been vehemently opposed to the idea of including a leg-spinner in the 15-member squad for the Test series against England. But with the off-spinners — R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh — failing to back their captain, the selectors finally had their way and on Sunday Harbhajan made way for Piyush Chawla.

But it was the choice, Chawla, that made everyone sit up in shock. While the selectors had wanted to include Amit Mishra even when the team was announced for the third Test in Kolkata, Dhoni had his way and Chawla — often considered the team’s lucky mascot — was the one who made the cut.

Speaking to MAIL TODAY , a senior BCCI official said it was a choice that was left to Dhoni. “The selectors had listened to Dhoni while picking the squad for the third Test, but this time they were clear that a legspinner needed to be added to bring in more variety to the bowling outfit. But then they left it for him to decide if it was Chawla or Mishra who would make the cut. And Chawla supposedly has the confidence of the captain and so he was selected,” he said.

Chawla’s selection has surprised one and all and the fact that Mishra has been in much better form in the current domestic season has brought in more flak. While Mishra has scalped 15 wickets from five matches at an average of 26.46, Chawla has managed just nine wickets in four matches at an average of 55.20. Only, Chawla has a better record with the bat.

Mishra’s performance with the ball is also praiseworthy due to the fact that his team’s batsmen haven’t really hit form with the bat. They scored 55 and 66 in their first couple of games, but the Haryana skipper has been able to garner the respect of the opposition.

Also read: Harbhajan dropped; Chawla comes in for Nagpur Test

The moment the batsmen turned on the heat against Baroda, he was quick to scalp five wickets in the first innings, giving away just 97 runs off 34 overs. In the next match against Delhi, he once again picked six wickets in the match – two in the first and four in the second innings.

On the contrary, Chawla has been all over the place. But his selection has often defied logic, be it for the ODI World Cup that India won last year or this year’s World Twenty20, and this is just one more of those cases.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »