T20 World Cup 2021: Varun Chakaravarthy not 100% fit; likely to be used as trump card by the team – Report

Varun Chakaravarthy made his India debut against Sri Lanka earlier this year | Getty

Team India might have looked well prepared with two out of two wins in the T20 World Cup warm-up fixtures against England and Australia, but there are still concerns over all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl and spinner Varun Chakaravarthy’s fitness heading into the Super 12s phase.

According to an ANI report, Varun’s knees are a cause of concern and team management is looking to use him judiciously.

After consulting with the team, the team management has reportedly decided that it is best to keep Varun as fresh as possible and utilize his skills in crunch games.

During the recently concluded IPL 2021, Varun Chakaravarthy was in terrific form, claiming 18 wickets in 17 games to power KKR to the final.

“He is undoubtedly a match-winner in this format and the leadership group knows what four overs can mean in a big tournament like the T20 World Cup. The medical team has been working closely with him and Varun will be used judiciously. He is a trump card and Virat Kohli and the leadership group is looking to use him just like that,” ANI quoted a source as saying.

Asked if that means he could be kept away from a game if the stakes aren’t high, the source said: “Yes, that is exactly what the idea is. While the team is looking to have his services as much as possible, it is also clear that his knees aren’t a 100 per cent. So, he will be used as per the demands of the tournament. If it is a must-win or big game, you will see him out there weaving his magic with the ball. If the team is well placed and you can afford to give his knees a bit of a rest, the team might do that. But yes, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri will be right there to guide Kohli and Rohit Sharma in such a scenario.”

India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. After facing the arch-rivals, the Men in Blue will take on New Zealand and Afghanistan on October 31 and November 3 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively while their games against the two qualifying teams (Scotland and to be confirmed) will be held in Dubai on November 5 and November 8.