Former legspinner turned commentator Laxman Sivaramakrishnan said India should use the Sri Lanka series as a chance to look at Varun Chakravarthy for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 squad given Yuzvendra Chahal has stagnated. Sivaramakrishnan said the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka is an opportunity for Varun, but urged him to improve his fitness and fielding.
“There is a possibility (of Varun being in the T20 World Cup India squad) because we’ve seen that over the years, Yuzvendra Chahal has not been very successful. Kuldeep has been out of the side, doesn’t even play for KKR. So what you have to look for is unknown commodities," Sivaramakrishnan said in a press conference arranged by Sony Network.
“When you are playing Sri Lanka, the world will be watching. If somebody is good and totally different from other conventional bowlers, like Varun Chakravarthy, all he needs to do it play a few games, develops confidence.
“He has had a problem with injuries, he should maintain his fitness and pick up confidence from this tour. If he does that, he should be one of the candidates the team should look for. Because change is the only constant. When a person stagnates, when one of your main bowler like Chahal stagnates, you should look at other options."
When asked if a fitness test like yo-yo should be relaxed for rare players like Varun, Sivaramakrishnan said:
“Really up to the team management. You can’t have different rules for different people. Ideally you want good fielders, that’s why the yo-yo tests are done, so that people are quick on the field. More so for a batsman to convert 1s to 2s… when you bat with Virat Kohli, you have to run fast. Same with bowlers.
“Varun is not particularly good with the bat. Two of the three departments, you have to be good. He has to work really hard on his fielding if he wants to wear Indian blues."
The former India bowler elaborated on Chahal’s problems saying he has been found out after his initial success in international cricket.
“Technically he has to add more variety to his bowling. Your success in international cricket, in the one or two first years, you’ll have a lot of success. But over time they’ll find you out. With modern day technology, analysis is very easy. All you need is a good person to spot out what deliveries he bowls. He bowls leg stump line most of the time, and he’s not a big turner of the ball. The success he had in IPL a couple of years ago was when he would bowl outside off and force the batsman to reach out. If you bowl leg stump line, the batsman just has to pick length and hit through the line."
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