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Star Performer: Chakravarthy, architect of Delhi's downfall

By HARISH KOTIAN
October 25, 2020 09:25 IST
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Varun Chakravarthy

IMAGE: Varun Chakravarthy celebrates picking up Delhi Capitals Captain Shreyas Iyer's wicket. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Cricket was pushed away as Varun Chakravrathy pursued a degree in architecture some years back.

Varun worked as an architect for a couple of years before his passion for cricket took over and he decided to return to his first love sometime in 2016.

After a super showing in the 2018 Tamil Nadu Premier League when he had a superb economy rate of 4.7, followed by a successful performance with the ball for Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament in 2018-2019, when he took 22 wickets in nine games, Chakravarthy proved to be an instant hit at the 2019 IPL Players Auction when Kings XI Punjab snapped him for a massive Rs 8.4 crore.

His dream was shortlived as he had to pull out of IPL 2019 after playing just one game because of a shoulder injury.

Chakravarathy was in demand at the IPL Players Auction later that year. Starting with a base price of Rs 30 lakh, Kolkata Knight Riders bagged the leg-spinner for a Rs 4 crore for the 2020 season, as they beat stiff competition from Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Chakravarthy repaid the trust by emerging as the best bowler for KKR in this year's IPL, having taken 12 wickets in 10 games so far, showing great improvement with every game.

The 29 year old spinner claimed the first five-wicket haul in IPL 2020, when he registered career-best figures of 5 for 20 in four overs to power KKR to a huge 59 run victory against the Delhi Capitals on Saturday and bolster their hopes of makingit for the play-offs.

What is stunning about Chakavarthy's haul is that he was only called into the bowling attack, in the 12th over.

He took just two deliveries to strike when he had Rishabh Pant caught at fine leg as the batsman top-edged the sweep shot and perished for a struggling 27 from 33 balls.

Chakravarthy then struck twice with the wickets of Shimron Hetmyer (10) and Shreyas Iyer (47) in his second over, to leave Delhi reeling on 99/5 after 14 overs.

The spinner continued his wicket ways, bagging another couple of wickets in his third over. Marcus Stoinis (6) tried to loft him down the ground but got it off the outside half of the bat, to be caught at long-off. Axar Patel missed a wild swing and was bowled for nine.

Although he could not add to his tally in his final over, he finished with magnificent figures and was rightly named man of the match.

Chakravarthy had single-handedly engineered Delhi Capitals's downfall as they were sent packing for a lowly 135 for 9 in their 20 overs.

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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