India vs Sri Lanka: 'He’s got an X-factor,' says Laxman as he praises Varun Chakravarthy on his debut performance
Ind vs SL 1st T20I: Chakravarthy's big day arrived on Sunday and he made it special by picking up the wicket of Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka. He returned with figures of 1/28 from his 4 overs, to make a decent start to his international career.
India beat Sri Lanka by 38 runs on Sunday in the first T20I to take 1-0 lead in the the three-match series. Suryakumar Yadav's knock of 50 and skipper Shikhar Dhawan's 46 at the top of the order helped the tourists post 164 on the board after 20 overs. After that Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/22) and Deepak Chahar (2/24) ensured the wind was taken out of Sri Lanka's sails in their chase.
The Indian spinners also had a successful outing with the duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya picking a wicket each and also keeping the runs in check.
The third spinner in the game for India was debutant Varun Chakravarthy, who finally made his Team India debut. The 'mystery spinner', who has made a name for himself by playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, had failed to make his debut in the past despite being named in the Indian squad as he had failed the fitness test.
But his big day arrived on Sunday and he made it special by picking up the wicket of Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka. Chakravarthy returned with figures of 1/28 from his 4 overs, to make a decent start to his international career.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman lavished praise on Chakravarthy and said that the 'mystery surrounding his bowling' gives the spinner an X factor.
“Firstly, I am glad that he (Varun Chakravarthy) got this opportunity, because twice he was already selected, but didn’t pass the fitness test and was not part of the squad. I think there’s lot of chat about the mystery surrounding his bowling," Laxman said on Star Sports' show Game Plan.
"I was talking with the Sunrisers batsmen and they are all impressed with the way and the consistency with which he bowls in different parts and phases of the match.
"He can bowl with the new ball, he can come and take wickets whenever the captain and the team wants to break a partnership – that means he’s got an X-factor," Laxman added.
Laxman further said that Chakravarthy needs to be given more opportunities to play international cricket in order to groom him and that he shouldn't be expected to 'miracles' from his first game.
"We just want him to get exposure of international cricket and the only way he can do that is by making him play. So, I’m sure that he is really looking forward to this opportunity, but one thing which we have realised over years is make sure you give him the opportunity. Don’t expect miracles from game one. It is very important to show patience and belief in a player,” the former Indian middle order batsman said.
Chakravarthy became the talk of the town after he was purchased for a whopping ₹8.4 crore in the IPL auction by Kings XI Punjab, now Punjab Kings, after a good show in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
He though had a underwhelming season with KXIP and was then bought by KKR, for whom he picked up 17 wickets in 13 matches in the IPL 2020 season.