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Back from injury wilderness, Varun Chakravarthy ready to get going come IPL

CHENNAI: A nervous IPL debut that lasted just one over and a career threatening shoulder injury would have been a huge setback for any player. Some may even have given up thoughts of making a comeback. But not Varun Chakravarthy.

Patience, self-belief and hardwork have helped the Tamil Nadu spinner get back to business. Varun, who played just one game for Kings XI Punjab in the last season of IPL after being bought for Rs 8.4 crore, was surprisingly picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders this season for Rs 4 crore despite not playing any competitive cricket for close to a year.

After playing a TNCA Senior Division league match and attending the pre-season camp of KKR, Varun believes things are beginning to look better.

“The time I was forced to stay away from the game due to injury was difficult and painful. My family and friends kept me going,’’ said Varun. During the layoff, he sought the help of former India team trainer Shankar Basu and the decision paid dividends.

“I reached out to him last year after the World Cup. When I thought everything was lost, Basu’s words gave me hope. He took great pains to see me back in action,’’ said Varun.

Basu lauds Varun for his dedication. “As he did not want a surgery, I sent him to Mumbai to meet a shoulder specialist. Then we (at Primal Patterns) prepared a blueprint to treat the injury. I devised a conservative rehab and along with my assistants worked hard for three months. That helped Varun recover and gave him confidence that he would start bowling soon,’’ recalled Basu.

A few weeks back, Varun played a Senior Division match. “It was a strange feeling playing that game. It was the first time I was bowling in a match after eight months. Slowly, I got my rhythm. After the game I headed for the KKR camp,’’ said the 28 year old. Did he feel pressure at the camp after being picked for a fancy sum? “No. When I play, it is just about the game. I do not think about the price tag. Even during the auction, I was only hoping that some team would pick me instead of bothering about the price.”

How did the camp go before it had to be called off due to the coronavirus threat? “Dinesh Karthik, Abhishek Nayar and Venky Mysore (CEO) were very cordial and I felt part of the unit. DK and Abhishek were a pillar of support. They were always positive and gave me belief that I can bowl normally.” He believes he is bowling well and is hopeful that the IPL will start next month.

“I am bowling with good rhythm. At the camp we played practice games and the ball was coming out well off my hand. I am confident that given a chance, I will perform. I am confident because of the preparation I have had.”

The spinner, who can bowl six different delivers including the leg-cutter, is keen to learn from Sunil Narine. “Mainly, I wa­nt to learn from Sunil what one needs at this level. Plus, I wa­nt to learn about variations and how to bowl to different pl­ayers in different situations.’’

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