"He's once again joined the line to come into the Indian team": Harbhajan Lauds KKR Star's Comeback
Varun Chakravarthy has picked 17 wickets in 11 matches so far (IPLT20.com)
Former Indian cricketer, Harbhajan Singh, has lavished praises on Varun Chakaravarthy for his impressive comeback to the game, after battling a persistent knee injury. The leg-spinner put on a show with his impressive figures of 3/26 in four overs, helping Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in restricting Punjab Kings (PBKS) to 179/7 as the home side went on to chase the target on the final ball of the game.
During a post-match analysis on Star Sports, Harbhajan spoke at length about his former KKR teammate's struggles with knee pain, noting that Chakaravarthy had played through the pain barrier by taking injections and applying ice packs to manage the injury. According to the former spinner, the KKR star’s knee was in tatters when he was picked to play for India.
"When I played with him (for KKR), he had a lot of pain in his knee. He was playing while taking injections and applying ice packs but he still bowled very well. His knee was totally finished when he was selected for the Indian team” said Harbhajan.
The Indian veteran commended Chakaravarthy for his impressive work ethic, stating that the young bowler had focused on his fitness and reduced his weight to help reduce the strain on his knee. He believes that the leggie could earn another chance to play for the Indian team.
"When I had spoken to him, it was only that he had to reduce his weight. Now the knee is fine, he has reduced his weight, and is fielding and bowling better. So this guy has once again joined the line to come into the Indian team,” added the former KKR spinner.
The seasoned cricketer further highlighted the Tamil Nadu bowler's exceptional skills, stating that Chakaravarthy's bowling speed this season had been remarkable. He added that the leg-spinner had become more adept at not giving batsmen a chance to play off the back foot after going forward, making him a dangerous proposition for opposing teams.
"The specialty of his bowling this year is that he is bowling at a very good pace. He is not giving the batters a chance to play shots off the back foot once they have gone forward,” concluded Harbhajan.
Harbhajan's comments come as a welcome boost to the KKR spinner, who has struggled to make an impact on the international stage in the six T20Is he has played. Despite being overlooked for selection after India's T20 World Cup exit in 2021, Chakaravarthy's impressive performances in the IPL this season may see him receive another opportunity to represent his country on the international stage.