Badani slams Varun Chakravarthy for failing fitness test

Written by Vipin Darwade

Varun Chakravarthy has had a topsy-turvy ride so far since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition. While he was one of the top-performers in the last IPL edition, held in the UAE, and returned as the only bowler with a five-fer in the entire competition, he was soon selected for the Australia T20Is in their own backyard, after the end of IPL 13.

However, Chakravarthy missed out on his India debut due to a shoulder injury and was replaced by T Natarajan. While selectors kept faith in him and retained him for the upcoming five T20Is versus England, starting from Friday (March 12), the wily off-spinner has once again failed the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bengaluru.

Thus, former Indian cricketer Hemang Badani — who was one of the fittest and finest fielders for the Men in Blue during his playing days — slammed Chakravarthy for not recovering in time.

Badani took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, “What was he doing the last 3-4 months when he wasn’t playing any cricket and nursing a shoulder injury. Understand a lot of ppl r upset with Varun not available for selection as he failed the fitness test. All players are aware of the test & he shd av been ready.”

After the spinner failed the Yo-Yo Test for the second successive time, a BCCI source told PTI, “Varun Chakravarthy was selected because he recovered from his shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Australia series. He did his rehab at the NCA and started throwing normally. However, he has failed to clear the YoYo test mark stipulated for a 2km run at least twice.”

He further opined, “We can understand he was doing his rehab during Mushtaq Ali (T20 Championship). But then again, he didn’t play a single Vijay Hazare Trophy game. How do you assess his match fitness based on games that he played five months back? I guess Varun Chakravarthy is a lesson for selectors.”

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Vipin Darwade