‘Feels surreal, wasn’t expecting it’: Chakravarthy on India call-up

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The 29-year-old’s selection comes on the back of a five-wicket haul against the Delhi Capitals © BCCI/IPL

It’s a big deal to be picked for the Indian team. Even bigger in a full-strength squad, on a tour to Australia. And for someone who’s played just one First Class match, it’s a heady cocktail. Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy, finds himself in the middle of one.

“After the match got over I got to know (of my selection into the Indian team). I keep using the same word again and again, it feels surreal,” he told BCCI.tv at the end of the match against Kings XI Punjab on Monday (October 26).

This selection comes on the back of a serious performance against the Delhi Capitals, where Chakravarthy ended up with figures of 5 for 20, a feat that got Harbhajan Singh raving about his performance on Twitter, calling him ‘India material’.

Congratulations #VarunChakravarthy 5 wickets haul.. india material 👌 top bowler @IPL @KKRiders
24 Oct 2020

“My basic goal was to play in the team regularly and perform and contribute to their wins. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the same for India. I am not very active on social media and I have to thank the selectors for keeping the faith in me. I don’t really have words.”

From an architect-turned-professional cricketer who lit up the Tamil Nadu Premier League a couple of years ago, to having five teams bid for him at the 2019 IPL auctions for an eventual INR 8.4 crore deal at Kings XI Punjab, to getting carted around by Narine for 25 runs in his first over, to finally finding redemption at Kolkata, it’s been some journey for the 29-year-old.

“I pretty much started my spin bowling in 2018, that’s when I got my breakthrough in TNPL, it’s been high and lows – last year, I didn’t get many chances and I injured myself, I’m grateful for making a comeback this year. I have been working hard, but the motivation and faith has come from a lot of people around me,” he said at the post-match presentation during his Man of the Match interview against the Capitals.

“Around 2015, when I was not making a lot of money (the switch from being an architect to becoming a cricketer), was freelancing and wasn’t able to meet my needs, I thought I would do something different, that’s when I turned to cricket. I still do it, I like that as well (being an architect).”

At Sharjah, though, he was clearly in a daze as he receives the news of his national callup. Life has indeed turned around.

“I’ll talk to my parents, my fiance. I’ll just talk to them, share the happiness with them. It is just good news for my family. I’m really short of words right now, India call up is big thing. I really wasn’t expecting it.”

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