Kolkata Knight Riders’ mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy is banking on a new bowling variation to turn around what has been a subdued start to his IPL season.
Varun was the leading wicket-taker for Knight Rider last season with 18 wickets from 17 matches, but has only four scalps from five games this season.
“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,” Chakravarthy said.
“I am working on a new variation which I am looking forward to bowl more. If it starts clicking well it will definitely add a new dimension to my game.”
Asked further about the new variation, he said, “I am working on a legspin (variation). I have been working for it in the last two years. I have bowled in few matches and I have got a wicket out of that also.
“I need to be a little more confident (bowling the new variation) and start bowling it more.”
Chakravarthy returned to competitive cricket in the IPL after featuring in the T20 World Cup last year, where he failed to pick a wicket before being sidelined due to a calf injury.
“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.”
Asked what kind of adjustments he used to make on wickets which favour batsmen, he said, “Stick to your basic plan, stick to your strength rather then focussing on the batters. So, to change the mental set-up.”
Varun said he considers Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan as the best spinner currently in world cricket.
“In cricket, you are bound to be hit. The best spinner right now is Rashid (Khan) and even he has gone for runs (in some matches) but he is still the best. It happens in a few matches, you will have a bad day and you just need to bounce back.”
Varun also said that he shares a special relationship with fellow Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine.
“Sunil is like a big brother to me. If I go through a lean patch he will come to me and talk to me. He has also shared to me personal things of which he is vulnerable.
“It is great of such a legend to talk to me about such things, to let me know he is vulnerable and he also goes though lean patches and tough times. So, talking to him gives you confidence and reinforces self belief.”
Varun said that the current competition among Indian legspinners does not put any pressure on him as far as securing a national spot is concerned.
“I see it as healthy competition. I messaged Yuzi (Chahal) also, the way he bowled, he is in amazing form right now, Ravi Bishnoi is bowling brilliantly, Kuldeep is doing very well for his team, Rahul Chahar is brilliant. I just feel nice when a legspinner does well.”