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    'Chawla can play a key role for India'

    RP Singh has high hopes from his Uttar Pradesh teammate Chawla.

    Kanpur: India pace discard R P Singh on Monday said if Piyush Chawla is given a place in the playing XI he can unsettle the opponents with his variations in the Cricket World Cup starting on Saturday.

    Chawla troubled all the Australian batsmen on a turning track at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore to return figures of four for 31 to play a big role in India's victory in the warm-up game.

    "He did really well yesterday with the ball. He got good amount of turn from the Chinnaswamy track to unsettle the Australians. If he continued to perform in a similar fashion in the World Cup matches, he will surely play a big role in India's for title triumph," Singh told PTI-Bhasha here.

    "It doesn't matter whether it was just a practice match but the way he bowled against defending champions Australia and conceded only 31 runs from his nine overs, it's no mean achievement. Any player who performs in the World Cup will reap the rich benefits later," added Singh, who is captaining Uttar Pradesh's one-day side in Vijay Hazare trophy.

    Gyanendra Pandey, coach of UP's Ranji team and who taught Chawla the nitty gritties of the game, said the leg-spinner has silenced the critics with his match-winning performance.

    "All his UP team-mates are really proud of him. He was just amazing yesterday with the ball. Indian team was always on a look-out for a leg-spinner and I hope Chawla has filled that spot. He has silence his critics who were questioning his selection into the World Cup squad," Pandey said.

    Pandey said with the World Cup happening in the sub-continent, Chawla will prove to be an asset for the team both with the ball and the bat.

    "One of the reasons for his selection was team's need to have a specialist spinner who could also bat a bit. I am confident if given a chance to play in the final XI, he will surely contribute with the bat also and that would be good for the side," he said.

    India play their second warm-up game in Chennai on February 16 against New Zealand before starting their World Cup campaign against co-hosts Bangladesh at Mirpur on February 19.