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T20 World Cup: Former Pakistan captain draws “street cricket” analogy for India’s Varun Chakraborty

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Varun Chakraborty finished with figures of 0/33 in his four overs against Pakistan.© AFP

India made a poor start to their 2021 T20 World Cup campaign in Dubai on Sunday as they suffered a 10-wicket defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan. Coming to a total of 151/7 in their 20 overs, the Indian bowlers did not find success as Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and his fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan chased down the target comfortably. Opting to bat first, India had a poor start and the team lost the first three wickets. Captain Virat Kohli’s 57-run knock and Rishabh Pant’s 39-run knock helped India recover from the initial setback and eventually cross the 150-run mark.

However, India’s bowlers were left disappointed as Azam and Rizwan played flawless innings to take Pakistan past the finishing line.

Varun Chakravarthy, who was included in the playing XI, left out veteran Ravichandran Ashwin, was also part of his struggle as he finished with figures of 0/33 in his four overs.

According to former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, playing Chakraborty was a mistake. Butt argued that Chakraborty’s reputation of being a “mystery bowler” did not hold true against Pakistan’s batsmen.

“Varun Chakraborty may be a mystery bowler. But we play tape-ball cricket in our streets when we grew up. In street cricket, every kid in Pakistan encounters this kind of finger-bowling (as did Chakraborty) So Varun Chakraborty came as no surprise to us, Butt explained while speaking on his YouTube channel.

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“Similarly, Ajantha Mendis had come to play for Sri Lanka. He troubled many teams but he doesn’t have a good record against Pakistan. There was a time when Sri Lanka stopped playing him against Pakistan because we had to stop his bowling. There wasn’t a secret,” he added.

“India lost a trick or two (during the game). First, they didn’t add enough pace to their fast battery. Second, they chose a mystery spinner against Pakistan, instead of their classical spinners. For, Varun is no secret,” Butt reiterated.

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