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Burst of raw speed after the wait

When Varun Aaron conceded 34 runs in three overs in his first game with the Indian team against a second string Leicestershire, everyone was wondering 'what's the fuss about the 153kph delivery he bowled in a domestic game'. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports.

cricket Updated: Oct 24, 2011 01:53 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Varun Aaron
India-s-debutant-bowler-Varun-Aaron-celebrates-the-dismissal-of-England-s-batsman-Tim-Bresnan-during-their-fourth--ODI-in-Mumbai

When Varun Aaron conceded 34 runs in three overs in his first game with the Indian team against a second string Leicestershire, everyone was wondering 'what's the fuss about the 153kph delivery he bowled in a domestic game'.

There was no hint of movement and his full-length delivery was cannon fodder for the batsmen.

He expectedly didn't get another game for the rest of the limited overs series in England. It was as if skipper MS Dhoni had decided his junior Jharkhand team mate was not yet ready for the big league.

A bowler in such a situation is often in danger of being forgotten but Aaron's raw pace is a rare commodity in Indian cricket. And the selectors persisted with the 21-year-old only to provide that x-factor.

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However, Aaron’s wait continued. He carried drinks for the first three games of the return ODI series as well. Finally, when the big break came, he underlined his potential with a sharp spell, taking three England wickets — all clean bowled.

It raised the question whether it was a mistake not to have played him in England when India were struggling for pace options.

Timely inclusion
Jharkhand’s former Ranji coach and current selector, Kajal Das, dismissed the talk that Dhoni didn’t back the youngster. “Dhoni is known to be very good with youngsters and I am sure he waited for the right opportunity for him. He had told Aaron, abhi wait karna padega,” said Das, who has worked with both the players.

Bowling coach TA Sekar, who spotted young Aaron as a raw talent for the MRF Pace Foundation in 2005 and is now with Delhi Daredevils, Aaron’s IPL team, revealed the bowler was a bit nervous after the England tour.

“During our camp (Daredevils) after the England tour, he told me, ‘Sir, I didn’t get a chance’. I told him there was a lot of cricket to be played and he should be patient.”

Taking his time
Aaron bowled a listless first spell (3-0-14-0) but came alive after Dhoni brought him back in the 41st over, to bowl with an older ball. He cleaned up the England tail with an impressive display of reverse swing, taking three wickets for 10 runs in 19 balls.

“Aaron was consistently bowling at 140 plus. The faster you bowl the more reverse swing you will get. He is always effective with the old ball,” said Sekar.

“He will have to work on his line, though. Today, he was pitching on middle. He needs to target the off-stump and swing it in.”