Explained: How Varun Chakravarthy can be India’s main weapon at World T20

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Varun Chakravarthy has been inked as the main weapon in Virat Kohli’s T20 World Cup plans. It’s learnt that the team management had apprised him of their plans and told him to get his fitness sorted.

Shared: September 24, 2021 10:55:33 am

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

During the last year’s IPL, not long after he took out MS Dhoni twice among others, Varun Chakravarthy has been inked as the main weapon in Virat Kohli’s T20 World Cup plans. It’s learnt that the team management had apprised him of their plans and told him to get his fitness sorted. As it turned out, he would fail a fitness test a couple of months later but clearly, he will be India’s main spinner in the next month’s ICC event. He has sparkled in the couple of games, this IPL as well.

How did he take out Dhoni last year?

The first dismissal had shown his character. A short of a length ball outside off had been skewered to the extra cover boundary but he bounced back with a slightly slower, fuller slider that landed on the off and pegged back the middle and leg stump, beating a hoick. The dismissal in the next encounter between the two was more memorable. It revealed his guile and the ability to surprise even a veteran like Dhoni. This time, it was a pacy 107 kmph snorter that skidded on towards the middle to beat Dhoni’s hurried stab and knocked out the leg stump. Almost immediately Dhoni looked across at Chakravarthy with a bemused look. Chakravarthy of course was busy wiping off any possible emotion from spilling out of him and walked away slowly. The two would later have a chat at the end of the game.

Do we know why he doesn’t celebrate more?

In a recent televised chat with his team-mate Andre Russell, he explained his ‘yeah whatever shrug’ after taking wickets. It’s because he “doesn’t want to get off from my process. If I end up celebrating too much, I can forget what I have to do next ball. But later on, I do celebrate!”

How did he go against Mumbai Indians on Thursday night and in his first game against RCB?

Very economical. He finished his four overs within the first 11 overs, giving away just 22 runs. Mumbai were going hammer and tongs at the start but it was Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine who applied the brakes in some style. With his combination of finger-flicking sliders and googlies, he kept the batsmen quiet.

Against RCB, he was rewarded with three wickets. He got two in two, taking out Glenn Maxwell and Hazaranga with googlies. Maxwell had lined up for his big swipe but it broke in and went past the bat to fall on the leg stump. Hazaranga prodded forward without much clue and was taken out lbw.

What sort of pitches does he prefer?

He says he prefers the flat tracks where he can hustle with his pace and slight turn. “For my style of bowling, turning wickets don’t suit much. Like in Chennai (turners). But flat tracks suit me.” With the T20 world cup to be played in UAE, it would be perfect for him and India.

Is he good against the left-handed batsmen too?

Yes, the wickets of David Warner and Nicolas Pooran are reminders of his ability. He took out Warner last year with a googly from the middle stump line. Warner shaped to defend to the on side but got a leading edge back to the bowler. “I wanted Warner’s wicket. I was preparing for him,” he would say later. He has taken out Pooran and Rishabh Pant too.

What did Kohli say when Chakravarthy failed the ‘yo-yo’ test last March?

“Look individuals need to understand the systems that have been created for the Indian cricket team. We should operate at the very high levels of fitness and skills and that’s why this (India team) is top of the ladder when playing cricket, in our country. We would expect players to abide by what’s required to be a part of Team India. There shouldn’t be space for any compromise, in that regard,” Kohli said on March 12. Just a day earlier, the KKR CEO Venky Mysore had tweeted about Chakravarthy: “he has more skills than most we have seen, but maybe a few seconds slower in a sprint…I wonder how many greats of yesteryears, cricket would have lost, based on the current “standards”!”

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