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'He had Dhoni in all sorts of troubles': Harbhajan names India bowler who is 'T20 World Cup material'

'He had Dhoni in all sorts of trouble and dismissed him several times. And no one was able to hit him in the nets. That's when I had predicted that this guy is going to play for India," Harbhajan said.
File image of M S Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh in action for Chennai Super Kings.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 30, 2021 08:59 AM IST

Veteran bowler Harbhajan Singh believes if India are to do well at the T20 World Cup, their spinners will have to play a big role at the ICC global event later this year. The likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Rahul Chahar are the three top contenders for a spot in India's T20 World Cup squad, but one name Harbhajan reckons is a must is that of mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Having impressed in the IPL, it was back in October last year that he earned his maiden India call-up for the T20I series in Australia. However, an injury prevented him from making his India debut. Chakravarthy later faced fitness issues and was ruled out of the T20Is against England at home.

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After successful rehab, he finally made his India debut during the first T20Is against Sri Lanka, where he returned with figures of 1/28 from four overs, and Harbhajan feels Chakravarthy can be a wonderful addition to the Indian team as he ticks all the boxes needed to be a spinner the team can turn to.

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"I feel that is T20 World Cup material because he has all types of qualities. He can take wickets, stop runs, bowl in the Powerplay and can even bowl in the death overs. His only shortcoming is that he remains way too nervous. I spent some time with him in KKR. He himself doesn't know what he is capable of," Harbhajan told Sports Tak.

Harbhajan's mind harked back to an instance when Chakravarthy troubled the great MS Dhoni during a net session. Recalling the instance, Harbhajan said it was at that very moment he knew that Chakravarthy would go on and play for India.

Varun Chakravarthy is congratulated by teammates for taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Sadeera Samarawickrema during the second Twenty20 cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo,. (AP)

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"The first time I had seen him was during a net session with Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni was hitting the rest of the fast bowlers and spinners for sixes but when Chakravarthy was bowling, he had Dhoni in all sorts of trouble and dismissed him several times. And no one was able to hit him in the nets. That's when I had predicted that this guy is going to play for India. He has a bit of nervous energy but the more he plays, the better he is going to get," Harbhajan pointed out.

"Give him some time and I still believe that if India have to do well at the T20 World Cup, the spinners have to do well. Varun Chakravarthy should be a must for India. He has everything you need in a spinner. If he needs to bring about an improvement, he should focus more on what he needs to do on the field. With time, he is going to get better and take lots of wickets for India."

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