A break from cricket many years ago helped Varun Chakraborty to become a ‘mystery’ spinner and then return to cricket effectively. This is to say that former Kolkata Knight Riders spinner and Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) team Madurai Panthers captain Rohit Damodran. Chakraborty, who bowled brilliantly for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL-13, used to play divisional cricket in Chennai before playing in TNPL.
Damodran said, “He (Chakraborty) was initially playing first division cricket in Chennai and was also studying architecture engineering. He then took a break of two-three years and during that break he improved his ‘mystery’ bowling while playing in the Forth Division League in Chennai. One of our coaches told me about him and I saw him practicing at the nets for the Madurai Panthers.
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Panthers captain Damodran plays for Puducherry in the Ranji Trophy. He says that Chakravarty practices his mystery with a tennis ball. He said, ‘Before practicing with the cricket ball, he used to practice with the tennis ball. This is what he told me. They have three to four kinds of diversity. ‘
Chakraborty can bowl carrom, which goes away from the batsmen. Also he can put the same carrom ball on the batsman’s pad. Then after that he can add off-spin and googly. Damodran says that Chakravarti puts the carrom ball and googly hair in the same way.
He said, “Despite both bowling the same ball, the batsmen have difficulty reading it.” Kolkata had bought Chakraborty for four crore rupees in the auction this time. He bowled deadly against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, taking 5 wickets for 20 runs in four overs.
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Damodran says that he always used Chakraborty in 2018, when the Panthers won the TNPL title. Interestingly, in 2016 and 2017, the Madurai franchise finished eighth in the first two seasons of TNPL.
He said, ‘He had a better performance in our title race but in terms of economy and dot ball numbers, Varun was number one. He brought a lot of diversity to my team. Before the tournament, he told me that you can use me in bowling whenever you want.
Everyone knew that Chakraborty could do mystery spin bowling. He said, “Whenever he comes to bowl, batsmen will try to play carefully.” This means that he will throw 3-4 dot balls and will end up giving 3-4 runs at the end. He usually gives 16 runs in four overs. In the final, he had conceded just 10 runs. So in a T20 match with him I am saving 15-20 runs and there is a big difference.