8 Things to know about Sreenath Aravind
One of the surprise selections in the Indian squad for the home series versus South Africa, Sreenath Aravind has done well in the local circuit and the IPL to earn some well-deserved recognition. The 31-year-old’s inclusion in the squad has further driven home the Indian selection committee’s motive of offering a fair chance to performers, irrespective of age.
Though Aravind may be under pressure to deliver a solid performance in this tour to have a chance at being retained for future series, it would indeed be a dream come true to play against South Africa on debut and end up with match-winning figures.
Here are 8 things about the lesser-known member of the Indian contingent that you need to know -
Key Member of RCB squad
The Bangalore lad made his debut for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the fourth season of IPL (2011). He had a dream debut series, wherein he emerged as the highest wicket-taker for RCB at the end of the tournament, with 21 wickets from 13 matches. He had best figures of a magnificent 4/14.
Unique combo of spin and medium-fast bowling
Though Sreenath Aravind is known to be a southpaw pacer, he is also capable of left-arm spin. He thus possesses a unique combo of both spin bowling and fast bowling, which is quite a rarity these days. With the Indian team not having a left-arm pacer for several years now after Zaheer Khan was dropped, the addition of Aravind will give a useful option in the pace department.
Overcame a career-threatening road accident
Aravind suffered a career-threatening injury in an accident in 2008, and subsequently underwent a surgery on his knee. He was dogged by the resulting problems ever since. Despite that, he overcame the challenge remarkably well to continue playing for Karnataka.
Warmed the benches on his debut selection into the National Squad
Aravind was selected as part of the Indian ODI squad for the home series against England at home in 2011, following his stellar performance in the IPL. But with the likes of Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron gaining precedence over him, he could not grab a spot in the playing XI throughout the 5-match series. He thus ended his debut series as a bench-warmer. Hopefully this time around, he gets a ball and the much-expected debut.
Key Ranji Player for Karnataka
During the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season, Aravind dazzled with his performance by taking 4/52 in the second innings against Tamil Nadu as Karnataka beat its arch-rival by a whopping margin of 285 runs.
Sidelined from RCB playing XI due to injuries
After his initial successful outing with RCB in 2011, Aravind was subsequently sidelined in the subsequent editions of IPL owing to injuries. Further to that, his economy rate was a concern, due to which he tried and eventually dropped.
Made a comeback into RCB side in 2015
Fortune came Aravind’s way after Adam Milne was injured in IPL season 8 (2015) and RCB needed a replacement. Aravind fit into the role and displayed a fantastic performance in RCB’s home game against KXIP, where he walked away with figures of 4/27, thoroughly thrashing the visiting team’s middle order.
Prolific record in all three forms of the game in domestic circuit
Aravind has had a solid run with the ball in the Ranji tournaments as well as List A and T20 matches. Specifically in Twenty20 cricket, he averages 21 with the ball at an economy rate of 7.77 in a span of 45 games, which indicates that his selection for the Indian T20I squad versus South Africa is reasonable.
Although there is no doubt that Sreenath Aravind will be one of the key players to watch out for in this series, it remains to be seen if he makes the most out of this opportunity and carves out a place for himself in the Indian side. Will the Indian team discover another southpaw pacer like Zaheer Khan in Aravind?