Bhagath Varma gets surprise call-up to U-19 team

Lady Luck smiled on him on Friday as he was called in as a replacement for an injured player to join the Indian under-19 team to tour England (July 23 to August 16) for two ‘Test’ matches and five one-dayers.

K. Bhagath Varma of Hyderabad who has been selected to represent India under-19 on the forthcoming Tour of England.   -  Special Arrangement

Kanumuri Bhagath Varma has constantly faced struggles on and off the field.

But Lady Luck smiled on him on Friday as he was called in as a replacement for an injured player to join the Indian under-19 team to tour England (July 23 to August 16) for two ‘Test’ matches and five one-dayers.

“I have been just hoping for this call given the performances in the Cooch Behar Trophy last season when I took 35 wickets from six matches to be the fifth highest bowler in the championship,” says the gentle off-spinner — another player who rose in the ranks under the tutelage of former HCA Secretary K. John Manoj.

“I owe everything in my life to my mother (Uma Devi who works in the Bharti Cements). But for her sacrifices, I would not have reached thus far,” says Bhagath.

For someone who started rolling his arm over under the watchful eyes of his mentor and coach Mohd Iqbal at Mehboob College High School, Bhagath has clearly come a long way and is determined not to waste this huge opportunity. “My next dream is to play for India in the World Cup (under-19),” says the offie who played for Kosaraju CC and is now playing for R. Dayanand CC in the HCA League championship.

Bhagath, whose rich haul of wickets in Cooch Behar Trophy also makes him the leading off-spinner in the championship, is a huge admirer of Harbhajan Singh and is now an avid follower of the Ravichandran Ashwin too. “Yes, I am really working hard to master the carom ball. Ashwin sir is such a great exponent of that and I will be happy if I can pick a few things watching his bowling videos,” he says.

“I rely on my line and length with the top-spinner being my stock ball. Yes, there is still a long way to go if I were to move up the ladder,” says Bhagath who feels that his seven-wicket haul against Madhya Pradesh last December in MP (Cooch Behar Trophy) really changed his mindset and made him think big. “That was the spell which gave me a lot of confidence and after that I never really looked back,” he recollects.

Clearly, Bhagath has his mind set on achieving newer targets.

  Dugout videos