Irfan Pathan, a former cricketer, believes mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy would be India’s X-factor in the 2017 T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.
Varun Chakravarthy’s match-winning figures of 3 for 13 from four overs helped Kolkata Knight Riders to a 9-wicket triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season got underway in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Chakravarthy was named Player of the Match for his bowling effort, and Pathan believes the 30-year-old will be just as vital for India in the T20 World Cup, which begins next month in the same country.
Chakravarthy made his India debut in August in Sri Lanka, when he took two wickets in a three-T20I series in Colombo. His IPL success has earned him a spot in India’s 15-man T20 World Cup squad.
“He has the potential to be a tremendous X-factor. You haven’t faced him in international cricket, but you have faced him in the IPL, where the dynamics are a little different. It will still be different when you play him in the World Cup after playing him in the IPL, the World Cup pressure will be different, and the enigma will remain,” Pathan remarked on Star Sports.
“If you remember the 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan was the first player to use the knuckle ball in the tournament. That was a pleasant surprise. So, when you’re playing a new game or bowler, the element of surprise is absolutely useful. Varun Chakravarthy could face a similar situation,” he warned.
India will begin their campaign in the Super 12 phases of the competition on October 24 in Dubai, against arch-rivals Pakistan. In Group 2, the 2007 champions will meet Afghanistan and New Zealand, as well as two qualifiers. The top four clubs from each Super 12 group will advance to the knockout playoffs.
In total, India will play four matches in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. Sharjah will not host any of their Super 12 matches.