Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Varun on Debut in Whites

MUMBAI: Speedster Varun Aaron, who became the 273rd player to represent India in Test cricket, found it strange that he was replacing his close friend Umesh Yadav in his debut match against the West Indies on Tuesday.

"It was strange. He (Umesh) played two Tests. But being a fast bowler, I suppose they wanted to give him rest before the one-dayers. It was strange though," the 22-year-old Jharkhand bowler told reporters at the end of the first day's play in the third Test at the Wankhede stadium.

Varun, who learnt about his debut on Monday night, hoped that he would do well at the ground where he made his ODI debut, after ending the day with figures of 16-3-47-0.

"I got to know last evening that I would be making my debut. (VVS) Laxman handed me the Test cap. It was a tough day. Hopefully, it would get better from here.

"Actually, I made U-19 debut at the Wankhede. It's been my ground of debuts. My one-day debut (here) was pretty decent. I just hope that I do well here," said the speedster, who took 3-24 in his maiden ODI appearance against England at the same venue a month ago.

Varun feels he has fared pretty well on his first day at office, barring his third spell where he could have done better.

"First ball, everybody is tense bowling their first spell. So it was but natural. I feel my first two spells were okay but I could have bowled better in my third spell. It's not going to come your way all the time. You have to work hard for your wickets, especially in Tests. And on such a wicket it's not easy. So I will come back and try tomorrow."

Varun felt that the wicket was good as compared to the other venues in India.

"The wicket wasn't bad. I feel a lot of runs would be scored here over the four days. I feel in India this is not a bad wicket at all. It's not going to change much. There is a lot of grass which is going to bind it. It is not likely to break much.

"There was a little dampness but it was just a matter of seeing off the first 45 minutes-one hour. If they could see it off they could continue. There were a few close shaves in the beginning," he said.

Varun said that one or two more wickets would have helped their cause.

"Had one or two wickets come our way it would have been different," he said adding, that he hoped that the team would be able to restrict the West Indies to a total below 400.

He made light of the three catches dropped during the day by VVS Laxman, Dhoni and Rahul Dravid, which saw the West Indies losing only two wickets throughout the day. "In cricket catches toh miss hote hii hain (catches do get dropped in cricket)."

On whether he bowled too short, he said, "The first ball I bowled went down the leg-side. It was out of shape. The ball was coming on to the bat easily. Even when it was changed, it wasn't easy. But on the whole, I feel I bowled an okay line. It wasn't swinging, just the odd ball beating the bat."

Asked what advice skipper MS Dhoni had given him, he said, "He didn't give me any tips. (He) asked me to do what I was doing today, do my natural stuff."

Being part of the team set-up for the past two months had helped him, he added.

To a query on the lesson he had learnt on the first day of his debut Test, he said, "You have to work hard for your wickets and each spell has to be of the same intensity."


FINALLY!!! first test cap ......CRICKETER NO.273 to represent INDIA.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Big Interview - Varun Aaron

'I Have Earned My Place In The Indian Squad'

Stress fractures of the back, recovery, a delivery that clocked 153.4 KMPH, signing up for Delhi Daredevils, the Emerging Tour and now the Indian squad — Varun Aaron has had two interesting seasons that have put him on the fast-track to international cricket.

The 21-year-old didn't get a chance to play the England ODIs, but had experts like Wasim Akram and Sourav Ganguly arguing for his place in the Indian side. Aaron hopes he'll break into the XI soon despite stiff competition.

Excerpts from his chat with Yahoo! Cricket today:

Talk a bit about your growing-up days.

When I was about 8-9, I slowly started with school cricket. Then I played for the Jharkhand U-15. And then on to the U-17 team and then for the Indian U-19 probables. There were no U-19 tours at the time. In 2005, I got selected for Pace Foundation and I was shortlisted for their finals. It's been great there since I joined them at a small age. Early on I learnt the importance of training and the mechanics of my action.

What's your family like and what's their attitude towards your cricket?

My parents and my grandparents have been really supportive. My dad was a club cricketer. My mom played basketball for Bihar and for Karnataka colleges. And my grand-dad played hockey for Bihar. They were excited when I broke into the U-15 team. It's a sporting family, so they've been excited and supportive. I also have a sister, currently in Standard 10.

When was the first time you realized you could bowl fast?

It was when I got into the MRF Pace Foundation that I realised I had something in me. TA Sekhar was the coach. He said, "You have got it in you, but you need to work hard." Getting into the academy gave me self belief. It gave me the mental assurance that I could do it.

Did you terrorise local teams? Did you injure any batsman?

I was fairly quick even during my U-15 days. There's one batsman... Samrat, from Tripura... I don't know where he is now... I have hit him on several parts of his body but never got him out. I broke his finger once, and then I caused damage to his thigh. Then I cut him under the eye. But I could never get him out.

You had a major injury early in your career. What adjustments did you make after it?

I made a few adjustments, but my action was decent. It remains the same through a season. I have worked on my fitness. When you're young, you try to bowl fast, and sometimes your body can't take it. That is why I had stress fractures of the back. I took it in a positive way.

I have worked on my fitness. I spent time at the NCA where experts like Paul Chapman, Paul Close and VP Sudarshan trained me. I worked hard under them, fine-tuning my physique and learning how to manage my workload.

In what ways have Dennis Lillee and the Pace Foundation helped you?

Lillee speaks to me even now. He keeps talking to me about the mental aspect of fast bowling. He talks about how to set up a batsman, how to set fields. He's one of the best bowling coaches in the world. (Former MRF chief coach) TA Sekhar is excellent in technique. I speak to him about technical problems. There's also (current chief coach) M Senthilnathan.

The IPL stint, the fastest ball recorded by an Indian, the Emerging Tour, and now the Indian team - do you think it's all happening too fast, or is it well earned?

I feel I've earned my place playing the IPL, the Emerging Tour. And there were injuries to Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma too (which meant that) I got my chance to be in the team. So I feel I've earned it.

Has life changed in some way since you dismissed Adam Gilchrist in that IPL game?

For me, life hasn't changed much. It's all in the press. My attitude to the game is the same; I'm working as hard if not harder. The talk of change is just on the outside. What I was one and a half years ago, I am the same.

There are tonnes of people, including Sourav Ganguly and Wasim Akram, saying you should have played in the England series. What does that support mean to you?

It does mean a lot. I'm looking forward to play for India. At the end of the day, it's up to the management to play me or not. I don't have regrets not playing there. They have their reasons. In the coming seasons, I hope I get to play.

Between playing competitive cricket somewhere and been on the Indian bench, what would you chose?

It's obvious I'll chose to be with the Indian team.

Were you given any reasons for not getting a game in England?

I didn't. I don't know. I haven't spoken to them about it.

Overall, how would you describe your time spent in the UK?

It was good. It gave me a good insight into the dressing room. Being with people like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar was great. Being there helped me a lot.

Your performance on the Emerging Tour kept you in the attention of selectors. What was your experience in Australia like?

We had a great team going to Australia, a great coach, great support staff. I knew most of them since I've worked with them at the NCA. But the wickets there were not fast and bouncy, they were normal, more like Indian wickets with a little extra pace. And the Kookaburra ball doesn't move that much. So the tour taught me how to bowl on dull, flat decks in foreign conditions.

You have bowled alongside Umesh Yadav and you two are the fastest in India. What is it like between you two? Do you get along? Do you see each other as rivals?

He's also my Delhi Daredevils team-mate. I don't look at him, or for that matter any bowler, as a rival. I compete with myself. Umesh and I are good friends on and off the field. I don't see any rivalry between us.

Finally, in a country where pace bowlers quickly become slow, what does bowling fast mean to you?

It means a lot to me. It comes naturally to me, and I am trying to keep it going.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Varun Aaron Interview

By Suhrid Barua 

Part of the Delhi Daredevils side in IPL4, Aaron hurled the red cherry at 153 kmph in Jharkhand’s final game against Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Holkar Stadium, Indore. 

“I came to know that I had bowled the fastest ball after one of my team-mates told me in the dressing room. I was mighty surprised and felt happy about it. Actually, I was more delighted that Jharkhand won the title,” Aaron said in a chat withCricketCountry.com. 

An Indian fast bowler bowling at 150kmph plus is as rare as spotting Halley’s Comet. The last time one saw an Indian bowl clocked above 150kmph was Ishant Sharma, during the CB series in Australia in 2007-08 season. Is there any other Indian bowler who clocked that in the speedometer? Maybe, Mohammad Nissar in the 1930s, but there were no speed guns then. 

The news of Aaron’s pace has been greeted among Indian cricket fans with a bit of cynicism. And this time, it’s not unjustified. Just about every Indian new ball bowler who arrived with much promise and pace, slowed down considerably over a short period… be it Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan or any other Indian quickie in recent times. This is in sharp contrast to other nations, where fast bowlers add to their speed with passage of time. 

Will Aaron go the same way once he establishes himself in the big league? “It’s difficult to say what will happen in future. I love to bowl fast and for now, want to help my team Delhi Daredevils do well in IPL4, whenever I get a chance to play,” he says. 

The 21-year-old tearaway was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team for 2010 IPL but didn’t get to play in any of the games. But, he was richer with the experience of getting pointers from former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram. 

“Akram sir told all the bowlers the importance of yorkers and focussing on reverse swing in the T20 games,” he revealed. 

Aaron made his Ranji Trophy debut for Jharkhand in 2008 and picked up 14 wickets with a five-wicket haul against Tripura last season. 

Aaron is excited about playing in the IPL. “I think it’s a nice stage for youngsters to showcase their skills. But honestly, any youngster’s ultimate goal is to represent the country.” 

The Jamshedpur-born boy - his parents moved to the Steel City from Bengaluru in the ’80s - adores West Indian Andy Roberts for his fearsome pace. “I like his intimidating style of bowling.”

THE performance that got him TEAM INDIA berth

Varun Vs England

Varun's unseen images

Varun Aaron in Indian colours

Varun Aaron:Detailed BIO

In a country starved of genuinely quick bowlers, Varun Aaron grabbed the headlines when he hit 153 kph during the 2010-11 Vijay Hazare Trophy final against Gujarat. Hailing from Jharkhand, Aaron has been part of the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai since he was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 15. In his first year with the Jharkhand Under-19 side, he also played for East Zone and was later part of the India Under-19 camp. He grew up admiring Andy Roberts, and pace has been his focus since his teens. This led to two stress fractures of the back soon after he made his Ranji Trophy debut in the 2008-09 season for Jharkhand, but he continues to focus on bowling quick. Possessing a smooth run-up and a repeatable action, Aaron consistently bowls in excess of 140 kph from close to the stumps with decent control. Having earlier been part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, he made his IPL debut in 2011 for Delhi Daredevils.

He was part of the India Emerging Players squad that went to Australia in 2011, and after impressing there earned a call-up to the India ODI squad for the series in England. Though he did not get a game on that trip, he made his India debut in Mumbai when England returned for an ODI series in October 2011.

Varun Aaron 

Full name Varun Raymond Aaron
Born October 29, 1989, Singhbhum, Bihar (now Jharkhand)
Current age 22 years 20 days
Major teams India, Australian Centre of Excellence, Delhi,Delhi Daredevils, India Emerging Players, Jharkhand,Jharkhand Under-19s, Kolkata Knight Riders
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast