Chakravarthy has cemented his place in the Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI under the watchful eyes of state teammate Dinesh Karthik, but with only one IPL season of note behind him, the decision to include him wasn't expected.
Upon closer inspection, it's clear why the selectors chose to take a punt on the Tamil Nadu man and put him on the plane heading Down Under. Varun Chakravarthy has impressed all with his performances in this year's IPL, and here are 3 reasons why he should make his India debut against Australia.
#3 Varun Chakravarthy is clearly high on confidence
After an indifferent debut campaign with the Kings XI Punjab last year in which he bowled just 3 overs and didn't pick up a wicket, Varun Chakravarthy overcame injury and lack of form to have his breakthrough year.
With 17 wickets in 13 games in IPL 2020, the 29-year-old established himself as the leader of the spin attack and even surpassed Sunil Narine as his captain's go-to weapon. He has also picked up the only 5-wicket haul in IPL 2020 so far (against the strong Delhi Capitals batting lineup).
Varun Chakravarthy would certainly be high on confidence after his excellent IPL 2020 displays, and this might be the perfect time to begin to integrate him into the national setup. Approaching 30 years of age, he seems to have the maturity and understanding of his own game that he lacked previously.
#2 Varun Chakravarthy is a more attacking option than Ravindra Jadeja or Washington Sundar
Four spinners feature in India's T20I squad for the Australia tour - Varun Chakravarthy, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar.
While Chahal is effectively a shoo-in given his performances over the years for India and in IPL 2020 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the second spinner in the lineup is certainly not decided.
Jadeja might have the edge due to his all-round abilities, but he was in poor form in IPL 2020 with the ball in hand. Moreover, both he and Sundar are restrictive options rather than wicket-taking ones, and without much assistance on offer Down Under, they could be fodder for the batsmen.
Varun Chakravarthy, on the other hand, is an attacking option who can be trusted to provide regular breakthroughs. He proved himself capable of bowling at many stages of the innings in IPL 2020, and towards the end of the tournament, he was used regularly both in the powerplay and at the death.
#1 Varun Chakravarthy is a mystery spinner
Mystery spinners are perhaps teams' biggest assets in the T20 format in an age where technology and a large number of games being played ensure that bowlers can't keep too many secrets.
A rare luxury that most teams in the international arena don't possess, mystery spinners have often proven to be the difference between good teams and great teams. Indian fans will remember the way Ajantha Mendis broke onto the world cricket scene, and even in the IPL today, we see many such bowlers.
SRH can boast of Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan, while Sunil Narine was unplayable in his prime and still is a very economical bowler despite troubles with his action.
Similarly, India can finally call upon a mystery spinner of their own - Varun Chakravarthy. With his main weapons being the googly, the top-spinner, the carrom ball and the quicker one, he has bamboozled the best of batsmen in IPL 2020.
While it remains to be seen if he can sustain this level of performance as teams continue to analyse him by reviewing footage of his bowling in the IPL, Varun Chakravarthy certainly hasn't been found out yet. And he could prove to be India's biggest asset during the T20I leg of their tour of Australia.
Published 08 Nov 2020, 12:49 IST