Tags: BCCI, India's Tour of Australia, Varun Chakravarthy, KKR, Kolkata Knight Riders, T20I Squad, IPL 2020, Architect, Cricketer, Spinner, Bowler
Right since the moment BCCI announced squad for India’s tour of Australia, the cricket fraternity was all praise for the 29-year old Varun Chakravarthy, who earned a maiden call-up in the T20I squad. Chakravarthy, who became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul in IPL 2020, is now standing on the podium of fame. His five-wicket haul for Kolkata Knight Riders against Delhi Capitals, was the first since Sunil Narine’s fifer in IPL 2012.
Who is this mystery spinner?
Varun Chakravarthy’s success story dates back to 2015, when he was in a dilemma whether to choose an Architect job or become a cricketer. He started playing cricket since he was 13 years old and developed a profound interest in the sport, becoming a wicket-keeper batsman at the age of 17. Following this, he tried to make his mark, but was rejected several times in age-group cricket. Therefore, he gave up cricket to pursue a degree in Architecture at the SRM University in Chennai. After completing the five-year course, he worked as a freelance architect. However, owing to his interest in cricket, he decided to give the job and turned to cricket once again, joining CromBest Cricket Club as a seam-bowling all-rounder. Soon, he suffered with a knee injury and had to reluctantly give up fast bowling which led to the birth of a mystery spinner.
Why is he called a mystery spinner?
As Varun says, he can deliver seven variations with the ball. They are Offbreak, Legbreak, Googly, Caroom ball, Flipper, Topspinner and a slider which is used to York the batsmen by aiming the ball at the toes.
He was soon in the news when he spun Siechem Madurai Panthers to their maiden Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) title. There, he was recognized as an exciting talent by CSK’s then batting coach Mike Hussey. In the tournament, he picked up nine wickets at an outstanding economy of 4.7. After that, he was a part of new bowlers for the Chennai Super Kings in 2018. Although he bowled only for four days, as the CSK’s home was shifted to Pune, he made his mark. Soon, after two weeks, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik and team analyst AR Srikkanth called Varun to bowl at KKR nets. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Varun emerged as the top-wicket-taker in the group stage, bagging 22 wickets in nine matches at an economy rate of 4.23.
Most expensive uncapped Indian player in the IPL
In 2019 IPL auction, he was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for whopping INR 8.4 crore, which was 42 times his base price of INR 20 lakh. However, despite becoming the most expensive uncapped Indian player in the IPL, Chakravarthy failed to impress in his debut IPL season. In the three overs he bowled against KKR, he was smashed at a 11.66 runs per over. A shoulder injury ruled him out of the IPL 2019.
Currently, the ongoing IPL 2020 has been the breakthrough season for Varun. In the auctions, he was roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 4 crore, which is almost 50% less than his previous IPL contract. The KKR leadership has backed the Tamil Nadu spinner in every match and he has made an impact. In the match against Delhi Capitals, at one stage, KKR were defending 119 runs from 54 balls. At such moment, when he was up against an in-form batting line-up, Chakravarthy picked up five wickets, becoming the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul in IPL 2020. He ended up winning the match single-handedly for KKR with the figures of 5/20. On Monday, October 26, Varun Chakravarthy was a proud man as he was picked in the T20I squad for India’s tour of Australia 2020-21.