T20 World Cup: Varun Chakravarthy, destiny's child

Once languishing in TNCA's fourth-division league, Varun is now eyeing World Cup heroics. His is a remarkable story about destiny and life’s second chances.

Representing India in the Twenty20 World Cup has been a dream that has fired the 30-year-old ‘mystery’ spinner’s career. - R. RAGU

The ball, flicked off the middle finger, holds its line. The batsman, playing for the turn, is soon walking back.

Here is a bowler with unique skills. Someone who can make the ball turn either way from a high-arm action. And the deliveries are laced with bounce.

The Indian team management had pencilled in Varun Chakravarthy’s name long before the squad for ICC Twenty20 World Cup was announced on Wednesday.

Game changer

The think-tank comprehended Varun would be the crucial X-factor in the attack. A game-changer with a bag of tricks.

Representing India in the Twenty20 World Cup has been a dream that has fired the 30-year-old ‘mystery’ spinner’s career. It enabled him to overcome fitness concerns and a failed Yo-Yo test and turn the tide back in his favour.

His is a remarkable story about destiny and life’s second chances.

Varun, pursuing a career in architecture and playing cricket for ‘fun’, was languishing in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s fourth division league when a chance opportunity to bowl at the State batsmen in the nets transformed his life.

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So impressed were the Tamil Nadu batsmen with his different types of deliveries that he soon found himself a team in the TNPL Twenty20 league. The batsmen finding it hard to pick his deliveries, he struck telling blows in the TNPL.

The buzz around the new kid on the block was so much that Varun was picked up at a mind-boggling ₹8.4 crore by Punjab ahead of IPL 2019.

But then, Varun hurt his shoulder after a lone IPL game and was staring into darkness. Crucially, he held on to his belief.

As the Tamil Nadu captain, Dinesh Karthik comprehended his value, Varun underwent sessions under Karthik and Abhishek Nayar to strengthen his mind.

In the auction for IPL 2020, Varun was picked up for ₹4 crore by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Karthik’s team.

Magic deliveries

He bowled beautifully for KKR, bringing his entire repertoire into play. He bowled the leg-spinner, the carrom ball, the leg-cutter, the off-spinner, the flipper, the top-spinner, and the arm ball. Importantly, he held his nerve in high-pressure situations bowling at big names.

And he conjured magic deliveries. Rajasthan’s Rahul Tewatia was bowled by a ball that pitched on leg and hit the top of middle stump.

On the fitness front, he’s worked hard with both Shankar Basu in Chennai and at the NCA.

Picked for India, Varun made the right impression in the away series against the Sri Lankans. Rahul Dravid was watching him from close quarters.

Now Varun, destiny’s child, is eyeing World Cup heroics. What a story!

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