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Varun Chakravarthy reveals he was ‘sidelined’ with exaggerated injury concerns following 2021 T20 World Cup

Varun Chakravarthy injury update
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy has made some stunning revelations regarding his time with the Indian team, claiming he was “sidelined” after the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Chakravarthy came into the limelight during IPL 2020 in the UAE, where he bamboozled batters with his variations. He took 17 wickets from 13 matches at an economy of 6.84, coming onto the radar of the national selectors.

Another impressive season in 2021 landed him a ticket to the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, having already made his international debut in the T20I series against Sri Lanka July 2021 where India had sent a second-string side.

In what turned out to be a dismal T20 World Cup campaign for India, Chakravarthy played three matches and went wicketless in each of them, conceding runs at a miserly 6.45 runs per over. He is yet to play another match for the national team.

Immediately after the competition, Chakravarthy suffered an injury, which he now alleges was overplayed in order to explain his absence from the side. Speaking to CricXtasy, Chakravarthy gave an account of how he felt he was sidelined from the national setup.

“It was very tough because right after I finished the World Cup, it was not a big injury, it was a very small injury,” Chakravarthy said. “It just took me two or three weeks to be back on track, but after that, I got sidelined, and people kept giving the same excuse that I am injured.

“But on the other hand, I was not injured all that while. I don’t know, [if] it was just a rumour, or someone just wanting to spread this news about me so that they can sideline me, but that’s how life is – it is unfair. It was very hard on me.”

The sudden snub affected Chakravarthy, leading to self-doubt and excessive tinkering with his bowling which eventually led to a poor IPL 2022 campaign.

“IPL 2022 was not a great season because what happened in 2021 after the World Cup got within me, and I was very desperate to be back in the Indian side.

“So I wanted to prove to everyone. I was being very desperate. I started changing many things in my bowling, which finally affected my mental peace, and I was not able to do my normal bowling also. So that IPL was bad for me.”

He finally returned to his best in IPL 2023, claiming 20 wickets from 14 games at an average of 21.4. Speaking about how he has accepted reality, Chakravarthy said that he does not put extra pressure on himself, and focuses only on performances.

“I am not desperate anymore. I know how things work. Even the best of the best – there is news that they are going to sideline that person, so who am I? I don’t have any expectations. Let’s see whatever comes my way. I will do my best.

“The best thing is to accept the reality. There’s no one out there in the competitive world who is going to really help you or think good for you. Everyone has their own competition, everyone has their own struggles.

“The best thing I can do is just turn up for the matches, do my best, and rest, leave it to the almighty, and whatever happens, happens. The rumours, it did create a very big dent in my career, but I have just accepted it.”

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