IND vs ENG: Varun Chakravarthy fails fitness test again, Natarajan at NCA with shoulder niggle

IND vs ENG: It is learnt that Rahul Chahar will be inducted in the squad as he is already in the bio-bubble since the start of the Test series. Rahul Tewatia awaits his second fitness test results.

Varun Chakravarthy

FILE PHOTO: Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy of Tamil Nadu during a training session in Tirunelveli in 2018.   -  The Hindu

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy has repeatedly failed to clear fitness tests at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru while pacer T. Natarajan, with a "shoulder niggle", is racing against time to be battle-ready ahead of India's five-match T20I series against England starting on Friday.

"Varun Chakravarthy was selected because he recovered from his shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Australia series. He did his rehab at the NCA and started throwing normally.

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"However, he has failed to clear the YoYo test mark stipulated for a 2km run at least twice," a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

It is still unclear as to why the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee picked Chakravarthy, who, after the month of October, hasn't played even one competitive game for Tamil Nadu.

"We can understand he was doing his rehab during Mushtaq Ali (T20 Championship). But then again, he didn't play a single Vijay Hazare Trophy game. How do you assess his match fitness based on games that he played five months back? I guess Varun Chakravarthy is a lesson for selectors," said the source.

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"If a player is generally not maintaining the standards set by this Indian team, his bowling alone can't be a criteria for selection."

It is learnt that Rahul Chahar will be inducted in the squad as he is already in the bio-bubble since the start of the Test series.

The NCA medical staff, meanwhile, is trying to get Natarajan fit for at least the later part of the series.

Meanwhile, Rahul Tewatia, who is training with the Indian team in Ahmedabad, awaits his second fitness test results.

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