Determined Aaron not willing to compromise on pace

Despite a heel injury that kept him out of much of the domestic season, Varun Aaron is determined to bowl as fast as he can, as he gears up to make a claim for an India spot again.


Varun Aaron..."Till the time I'm playing cricket, I will be only bowling fast."   -  G.P.Sampath Kumar

A freak heel injury that was supposed to heal in three-and-a-half weeks took three-and-a-half months but Varun Aaron is back again, raring to unleash his 140-plus thunderbolts as he gears up for another comeback to the national team. Ask him if the latest injury has made him more sceptical about choosing line-and-length over pace, Aaron is unambiguous in his reply.

He said, “I am blessed with a natural ability to bowl fast. Everyone can’t bowl quick. So as far as I am concerned there is no question of compromising on pace. Till the time I am playing cricket, I will be only bowling fast.”

Aaron has entered the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction pool at a base price of Rs. 30 lakh and as an India pacer which is at premium, he should be confident of getting a franchise during the February 20 auctions. “I am optimistic that franchises will be interested in what I can bring to the table. Obviously I am looking forward to auction but before IPL, I will be playing Vijay Hazare Trophy for Jharkhand. I will be able to bowl 10 overs in a number of matches and that will certainly help me. The aim is an India comeback and every match from now on is important,” said the 27-year-old Pune resident.

One of the fastest bowlers in Indian cricket, Aaron’s talent is not exactly reflected in nine One-Day International (ODIs) and as many Twenty20 Internationals that he has played so far. “It was unfortunate and frustrating. I was aiming for a good Ranji season. I felt some pain in my heel during first match against Maharashtra. But it wasn’t anything serious and as a captain I needed to play against Karnataka. I bowled 29 overs in all in that match but the pain increased.

“When initially tests were done, I was told that it is a minor injury and will take barely three-and-a-half weeks before I would be back in action. But eventually, it turned out to be worse than that and I ended up missing out on the first-class season after the first two matches,” said Aaron.

Poor timing

The perception that he is injury prone is also something that Aaron would like to change. “The last time I missed a season was back in 2011-12 due to back injury. Post that, you can check records, I have not missed out on a season. This time, it was unfortunate. I was in Indian team’s standby list for the tour of West Indies. I went to Australia with the A team and Rahul bhai had praised my bowling. Just when things were falling in place, injury happened,” said Aaron.

The Indian team’s core fast-bowling unit looks set with Mohammed Shami (when back from injury), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the first four choices. So realistically, Aaron is looking at a sustained performance throughout the season so that he can make a case for himself when India is back on the road during the 2017-18 season with tours of South Africa, New Zealand, England lined up one after another.

“Practically speaking, I would like to perform well before Champions Trophy. The communication system in the current Indian team set-up has been brilliant. In my case, I was injured, so there wasn’t much the team management could have told me. But the aim is to play for India again,” Aaron asserted.

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