Ind vs Eng T20: Varun Chakravarthy in doubt for T20I series; fails to impress in fitness test

IND vs SL 1st T20I: Varun Chakravarthy makes his India debut
IND vs SL 1st T20I: Varun Chakravarthy makes his India debut

Ind vs Eng T20 – Varun Chakravarthy in doubt: Varun Chakravarthy’s availability for the upcoming T20I series against England is under a cloud. According to Cricbuzz the 29-year-old spinner hasn’t done well on the new fitness benchmark set for Indian players, which is either completing a 2 km run in 8.5 minutes or scoring 17.1 in the Yo-Yo test.

Should he not make the cut this time for Ind vs Eng T20 series, it will be the second time in a space of five months that Chakravarthy will miss out on a potential India debut. Last November, he was picked for the T20I series against Australia on the back of impressive performances for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but instead had to be checked into the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.

Chakravarthy said that he is still awaiting formal communication from the board. “I have not been informed of anything as yet,” he told Cricbuzz.

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The 29-year-old spinner is currently training with the Kolkata Knight Riders team in Mumbai after almost three months at the NCA, where he had to work on his inability to throw — a problem that kept him out of the tour of Australia in November. Cricbuzz has learnt that the rehab programme went well and there is marked improvement on his strength and conditioning but running has apparently become a problem.

Chakravarthy, who has played one first-class and nine List-A games for Tamil Nadu, has not been considered for the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy by his state selectors. “He was never in contention for a one-day team berth because we consider him as a T20 specialist. It will be difficult to expect more than four-five overs from him because of the effort he puts on his fingers,” said Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary S Ramasamy. Interestingly enough, he was not picked for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament either.

The five T20Is against England are from March 12 to 20, all in Ahmedabad.