Irfan Pathan believes leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy could be an X-factor for the Indian cricket team at the forthcoming T20 World Cup. He reasoned that the mystery element in his bowling is likely to remain.
Varun Chakravarthy is part of India’s 15-member squad for the global event to be played just after IPL 2021 concludes. The mystery spinner showed ample proof of his credentials while registering figures of 3/13 in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) thrashing of the star-studded batting line-up of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday (September 20).
Irfan Pathan: Varun Chakravarthy Can Be A Huge X Factor
During a discussion on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan opined that mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will be the surprise element in India’s bowling attack at the forthcoming T20 World Cup. After the match concluded, RCB captain Virat Kohli lauded the 30-year-old spinner and called him a key player for Team India. Varun Chakravarthy has also been selected for India’s T20 World Cup squad with Virat Kohli as skipper.
“He can be a huge X-factor. You have not played him in international cricket, you have definitely played him in the IPL but the dynamics are slightly different in the IPL. When you play him in the World Cup after playing him in the IPL, it will still be different, the World Cup pressure will be different and the mystery will remain,” said Irfan Pathan.
The former India pacer Irfan Pathan cited the example of his former teammate pacer Zaheer Khan’s knuckleball at the 2011 World Cup to substantiate his point.
Irfan Pathan elaborated: “If you remember the 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan started using the knuckle ball in the World Cup and not before that. That was a surprise delivery. So, the surprise factor is definitely beneficial when you play a new thing or bowler. Something similar can happen for Varun Chakravarthy.”
Varun Chakravarthy has represented Team India in just three T20Is to date, which came on their last visit to Sri Lanka. Although he scalped just a couple of wickets, he was extremely economical (5.3).
In KKR’s opening match in the UAE leg, Varun Chakravarthy took the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, and Wanindu Hasaranga. Meanwhile, Andre Russell also registered three dismissals including that of AB de Villiers and Lockie Ferguson bagged two wickets. He picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94. and 10 scalps in 8 games in IPL 2021 averaging 23.2.
Aakash Chopra: Pitches In The UAE Helpful For Varun Chakravarthy
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the skiddy nature of the UAE pitches is an additional ally for Varun Chakravarthy.
“The pitches currently in the UAE are helpful for him because the ball is skidding after pitching and you are getting less time. If you don’t read from the hand, you try to get a clue off the pitch, which you are not going to get here.”
The former India opener concluded by stating that Varun Chakravarthy is a potent threat in the middle overs.
“His performance in the UAE was outstanding last time as well because of which his name came in the Indian team. The same Varun Chakravarthy was a slightly easier bowler to play when you were playing in India because that much fizz was not there after pitching. So, he is a four-over bowler and is a wicket-taking option in the middle overs.”
Varun Chakravarthy will hope to continue in the same vein for the remainder of IPL 2021. A good run here would assure him a spot in India’s starting XI at the T20 World Cup.
Shubman Gill slammed 48 runs off 34 balls, packed with six fours and a maximum. Meanwhile, debutant Venkatesh Iyer remained unbeaten after scoring 41 off 27 balls, consisting of seven fours and a maximum. Andre Russell arrived to bat after the dismissal of Shubman Gill but didn’t face a single delivery, with Venkatesh Iyer wrapping up the game for Kolkata.