Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy is hoping to add a “new dimension” to his game once his new variation starts clicking in IPL 2022, and he is banking on the delivery to put him back on top on the wicket-takers’ list soon.
If things go according to plan, the 30-year-old mystery spinner would have added an eighth variation to his repertoire.
After enjoying a breakthrough IPL season in 2020 with the Kolkata Knight Riders, where he picked 17 wickets in 13 games, Chakravarthy became a part of India’s T20I series against England in March last year only to be ruled out on fitness grounds. Later, he made his International debut against Sri Lanka in July.
He finished the IPL 2021 season with 18 wickets and was rewarded with a place in India’s squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE last year but hasn’t enjoyed similar highs this season after picking only four wickets in six matches and registering figures of none for 45 in three overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Brabourne on April 15.
However, Chakravarthy is keen to bounce back. And that could happen as early as KKR’s match against Rajasthan Royals on March 18 at the Brabourne Stadium.
“I am working on a legspin (variation). I have been working for it in the last two years. I have bowled it in a few matches and I have got a wicket out of that also. If it starts clicking well it will definitely add a new dimension to my game. I need to build more confidence and start bowling it more,” said Chakravarthy.
Chakravarthy said that it’s natural to get hit in a tournament like the IPL as rival teams keep experimenting and planning for specific bowlers.
“In cricket, you’re bound to get hit,” he said. “It is bound to happen; people will have plans against me. Last year in the Indian leg, I had six to seven wickets in seven matches. Later on, I picked up more wickets, so you cannot predict how many wickets you are going to get.
“The best spinner right now is (Afghanistan’s) Rashid Khan and even he has gone for runs but he is the best and he is maintaining it. It happens in a few matches when you will have a bad day and you just need to bounce back.”
This season’s IPL has marked his return to competitive cricket after nursing a calf injury post the T20 World Cup, which ruled him out of action for nearly three months.
“I was at the NCA for the treatment of my injury. Now it is resolved very well. I could take the field without any pain killer. So, I am feeling fitter and that has helped me to bowl a lot better.”
Talking about his relationship with KKR teammate, spinner Sunil Narine, Chakravarthy said that he keeps speaking to the West Indian to overcome his lean patch.