Varun Chakravarthy: The commentary box was left shut when the hero of the previous match for Rajasthan Royals, Rahul Tewatia was castled by an excellent googly from the 27-year-old Varun Chakravarthy. The next victim who fell to his deceptive bowling was the big man from England, Jofra Archer. Trying to flick him over long-off, he ended up lofting the ball and it was brilliantly caught by a flying Nagarkoti.
The last game against Sunrisers saw him scalping the prized scalp of David Warner as the Aussie opener failed to read the flight of the ball and ended up returning a safe catch to the bowler himself. Probably it is just two games in the campaign for Varun but the impact that he has had so far in the fray is astronomical.
His rise to prominence wasn’t a fairytale but a wretched story of a youngster clawing his way out to the top through countless windings along the road. He started his career as a wicket-keeper batsman and continued being so until the tender age of 17 years. After facing the snub several times in age-group cricket he decided to give up the sport for good and take up an architectural degree that saw him working as a freelancer.
However, cricket always had him fascinated and he returned to the sport in a new avatar that saw him becoming a mystery spinner. However, before it all started, he even made a guest appearance in a movie called Jeeva starring Vishnu Vishal who was the first club captain of Ravichandran Ashwin.
His first IPL season started alongside Ravi Ashwin for Punjab but his first over in the competition saw him being clubbed for 25 runs by Sunil Narine, the most expensive debut over for an uncapped Indian in the tournament. Post that he shortly entered into another receding tailspin that saw him sidelined for the remainder of the tournament as he ended up hurting his finger.
However, surprising him, KKR and RCB went head on for this mystery spinner and it was Kolkata who finally bought him for Rs 4 crores, a staggering amount that seemed like an extraordinary gesture of magnanimity from the two-time champions, given the hammering that he took from one of their own.
Varun Chakravarthy rose to prominence as a spinner after being singled out by Mr. Cricket, Michael Hussey, in the TNPL 2018. Out of the 40 overs which he bowled in that tournament, he wrung 125 dot balls, which is an extraordinary feat, considering the fact that T-20 is a batsman’s game. He bowled at a miserly rate of 4.7 runs per over.
Varun Chakravarthy finally found his salvation under the chaperonage of Shankar Basu who was the former fitness trainer of India. He started gaining his fitness back and slowly started growing in stature that made the big shots of the tournament notice him.
When he finally cracked the auction, he got himself considerable time as the IPL was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis and also proper training from the masters of spinning art through Sunil Narine and India’s chinaman spinning wizard, Kuldeep Yadav.
There is still a long way to go for this 27-year-old mystery spinner as it is just the beginning, however, if he can nurture himself under the tutelage of Brendon McCullum and Kyle Mills, Varun Chakravarthy will be looking at a very bright future.