'I am blessed with a natural ability to bowl fast. Everyone can't bowl quick.'
A freak heel injury that was supposed to heal in three and half weeks took three and half months but Varun Aaron is back again raring to unleash his 140 plus thunderbolts as he gears up for another comeback to the India team.
When asked if the latest injury has made him more sceptical about choosing line and length stuff over pace, Aaron replied: "I am blessed with a natural ability to bowl fast. Everyone can't bowl quick. So as far as I am concerned there is no question of compromising on pace. Till the time I am playing cricket, I will be only bowling fast."
Aaron has entered the Indian Premier League Players' Auction at a base price of Rs 30 lakh and as an India pacer which is at premium, he should be confident of getting a franchise.
"I am optimistic that franchises will be interested in what I can bring to the table. Obviously I am looking forward to auction but before IPL, I will be playing Vijay Hazare (One-Day) Trophy for Jharkhand. I will be able to bowl 10 overs in a number of matches and that will certainly help me. The aim is an India comeback and every match from now on is important," said the 27-year-old Pune resident.
One of the fastest bowlers in Indian cricket, Aaron's talent is not exactly reflected in nine ODIs and as many T20 Internationals that he has played so far.
"It was unfortunate and frustrating. I was aiming for a good Ranji season. I felt some pain in my heel during the first match against Maharashtra. But it wasn't anything serious and as a captain I needed to play against Karnataka. I bowled 29 overs in all in that match but the pain increased.
"When initially tests were done, I was told that it is a minor injury and will take barely three and half weeks before I would be back in action. But eventually, it turned out to be worse than that and I ended up missing out on the first-class season after the first two matches," said Aaron.
The perception that he is injury prone is also something that Aaron would like to change.
"The last time I missed a season was back in 2011-12 due to back injury. Post that, you can check records, I have not missed out on a season. This time it was unfortunate. I was in the Indian team's standby list for the tour of West Indies. I went to Australia with the 'A' team and (coach) Rahul bhai (Dravid) had praised my bowling. Just when things were falling in place, the injury happened," lamented Aaron.
The Indian team's core fast bowling unit looks set with Mohammed Shami (when back from injury), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the first four choices.
So realistically, Aaron is looking at a sustained performance throughout the season so that he can make a case for himself when India is back on the road during the 2017-18 season with tours of South Africa, New Zealand, England lined up one after another.
"Practically speaking I would like to perform well before the Champions Trophy (in June). The communication system in the current Indian team set-up has been brilliant. In my case, I was injured, so there wasn't much the team management could have told me. But the aim is to play for India again," Aaron asserted.
Image: Varun Aaron
Photograph: Clint Hughes/Getty Images