It was on the 18th of December 2018 when all the eight franchises were summoned for IPL 2019 auction, a 27-year-old uncapped spinner who had a base price of 20 lakh was bought by Kings XI Punjab for a massive 8.4 crore. At that moment, the whole world kept its eyes on Tamil Nadu’s Varun Chakravarthy, the first-ever Indian mystery spinner to play IPL.
Varun Chakravarthy was never known as a child prodigy during his early days. In fact, he was dejected after being unable to make his mark as a professional cricketer at the start of his career. Varun’s story would have been like any common Indian child who aspires to play cricket for his nation but then gives up in front of the question of uncertainty, unwilling to risk his future. But he made his return to professional cricket in a different fashion with relentless passion and grit, now marching his way towards the goal of wearing the Indian jersey. This is the real-life fairy tale of Varun Chakravarthy.
About Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy Vinod
Date of Birth
29th August 1991
Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Leading wicket-taker for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
₹15 crore to ₹20 crores.
Father: C.V Vinod Chakravarthy. Mother: Malini Chakravarthy
Right Handed Batsman
Right arm leg break
Teams Played for
Karaikudi Kaalai, Tamil Nadu, Siachem Madurai Panthers, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR vs KXIP in 27 March 2019
SRM University, Chennai
Varun Chakravarthy Biography
V Chakravarthy Early struggles
Born in Bidar, Karnataka, Varun Chakravarthy was initially a wicket-keeper batsman. He started playing cricket at the age of 13 but never proved exceptional in age-group cricket. When he became 17, he began pursuing an architecture degree at SRM University, Chennai. There was a spark of the dream left in him even after the decision to pursue a different career. So, he actively played tennis-ball cricket even after graduating and working as a freelance architect.
His stint as a freelancer wasn’t appealing enough and gradually his buried ambitions of playing professional cricket surfaced. Hence, he made a watershed decision to quit his job and got into CromBest Cricket Club with a different role of a fast-bowling all-rounder. Unfortunately, his efforts to bowl fast stunted after a knee injury. But Varun was not ready to give up his dreams once again. He remolded himself as the most lethal version of a mystery spinner and guess what? Varun, the magical spinner took 31 wickets from just seven matches playing for Jubilee Cricket Club in the lower division of the Chennai league. What’s even more astonishing was his economic rate of 3.06 and an average of 8.26.
Varun Chakravarthy at TNPL
The evolution of Varun Chakravarthy as an international level spinner has its roots in the TNPL days. He was first signed for Karaikudi Kaalai in the 2017 season, just after his amazing performance for Jubilee Cricket Club. His unique bowling style and decent performance earned him a chance to bowl at the KKR nets where he met and spoke to Sunil Narine.
Coming to the 2018 campaign, Varun was picked by Siechem Madurai Panthers. Though he wasn’t one of those top wicket-takers of the tournament, his economy rate of 4.7 was the third-best of that season. He also had an amazing dot-ball percentage. Nevertheless, it was a blooming year for him as his team won their first TNPL title and got a chance to display his talent at the CSK nets. Varun’s spell of two wickets for nine runs in four overs was crucial for Madurai’s triumph. Moreover, Varun was called for the Tamil Nadu Vijay Hazare Trophy team and Ranji trophy team as soon as the TNPL outing. He was the leading wicket-taker after the group stage matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a fine economy rate of 4.23.
Varun Chakravarthy IPL – The hardest step
Varun Chakravarthy KKR
The entire cricketing fraternity was awaiting the expensive spinner to perform at IPL 2019. He himself was excited to play under his role model Ravichandran Ashwin. Sadly, Varun couldn’t match his talent with his performance. He made his forgettable IPL debut against KKR where he gave 35 runs in 3 overs claiming one wicket with a terrible economy rate of 11.67.
Being immediately dropped from the playing XI, he was ruled out of the tournament without playing another match due to a finger injury.
IPL can be so rude sometimes that you can even be forgotten after a rotten season. Plenty of skilled youngsters went unappreciated and rejected because they couldn’t level the hype that comes with the price tag. After the first season, Varun seemed like such a player. But KKR themselves decided to give him one more chance after KXIP released him before the next auction. Varun was sold for 4 crores to a side that already had a world-class mystery spinner, Sunil Narine, and an established Indian Chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav. Therefore, it was predicted by most that the chances of him featuring in the playing XI were quite less until Kuldeep Yadav was dropped due to bad form. What we witnessed in IPL 2020 was the advent of an extraordinary spinner who tricked even the best of batsmen.
The legends of the game like David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, and MS Dhoni fell victims in front of the mystery unfolding from his hands. Varun bagged 17 wickets in 13 matches with an economy of 6.84 in IPL 2020. He also single-handedly won a crucial match for his team with a five-wicket haul. KKR fell just short of the playoff qualification but Varun earned the attention of both media and national team selectors.
On his way to the Indian side
As Varun himself stated, he knows seven different spin variations; Leg-break, off-break, Googly, Carrom Ball, Flipper, Top-spinner, and a sliding yorker. Indian cricket never came across as such a prolific and versatile mystery spinner which makes him a valuable asset. Varun Chakravarthy’s life has been all about facing setbacks and overcoming them but there’s more of it.
After the incredible IPL season, Varun received the maiden call for his international debut in a T20I series against Australia but bad luck came as an injury ruling him out of it. In March 2021, he got selected to the Indian squad for the England T20I series. This time he failed the fitness test and became ineligible to be a part of the team. But his IPL performance and the praise he received from former cricketers like Michael Hussey, Harbhajan Singh, and Dinesh Karthik keeps his name alive among fans and selectors. As of now, the wait continues for Varun Chakravarthy.
Varun Chakravarthy Stats
V Chakravarthy Bowling Stats
V Chakravarthy Batting Stats
Varun Chakravarthy Photos
The pleasure of watching Test Cricket, matches none…Test Cricket at it's best
..this win will inspire generations to come…Team India…you beauty 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/8VEtEAH1fa
— Varun Chakaravarthy (@chakaravarthy29) January 19, 2021
Don't let the current pull you in it's direction!! Swim across it and find your way.🤟🏽🤟🏽
"Ada vada machi adichu pakalam ETHIR NEECHAL"😎 pic.twitter.com/ONlYdar6Je
— Varun Chakaravarthy (@chakaravarthy29) November 26, 2020
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) November 5, 2020
KKR family 💜 it has been a pleasure to play for KKR. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/nvGTABTtkW
— Varun Chakaravarthy (@chakaravarthy29) November 5, 2020
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