"Our bench strength is amazing this year" - Varun Chakravarthy remains optimistic about KKR's chances in IPL 2021

Varun Chakravarthy has picked 7 wickets in the 2021 IPL so far (PC: ESPN Cricinfo)
Varun Chakravarthy has picked 7 wickets in the 2021 IPL so far (PC: ESPN Cricinfo)
Gokul Nair

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy believes Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have a good squad to put in a string of strong performances in the UAE. The franchise are currently placed seventh in the league table and are only above Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Chakravarthy has been a regular first-team member for the team since the last edition and has resultantly put Kuldeep Yadav out of contention. He picked up seven wickets in seven matches at an economy of 7.82 in the first half of the 2021 IPL.

However, the franchise has struggled to gain momentum ever since their win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their first game. They proceeded to lose tight games, including their chase against the Mumbai Indians, and have only recorded a solitary win.

Speaking to Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel, Chakravarthy explained:

"Our bench strength is amazing this year because we have a backup for every player in the playing XI. Somehow, things did not go well and I really feel that this break might have helped. We could not gel at the right time and I feel this time, this gap will help us and we will do really well."

KKR have missed out on the playoffs in the last two editions by the smallest of margins. They have roped in Kiwi pacer Tim Southee as a replacement player for Aussie speedster Pat Cummins, who opted out of the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

KKR used me whenever they wanted a wicket: Varun Chakravarthy

Chakravarthy believes captain Eoin Morgan has used him judiciously in matches. He bowled in the powerplay as well as in the middle overs. Aakash Chopra recalled KKR's fixture against RCB in Chennai where Chakravarthy wreaked havoc with the new ball. But he was then surprisingly taken off the attack which allowed AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell to settle.

Chakravarthy claimed that the strategy of giving him another over was discussed, but by the time it happened, it was too late, he added:

"Yes, those discussions did happen but it was too late to do because by that time Maxwell and ABD scored their fifties and they were well settled. I felt they used me whenever they wanted a wicket and at those stages they used me."

The two-time champions will resume their campaign against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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