The Chennai Super Kings, led by MS Dhoni, were defeated by the Kolkata Knight Riders in their final home encounter of the IPL 2023 at Chepauk. In the first innings of the match, the KKR spinners, particularly Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine, caused significant damage. Although Chakaravarthy was one of CSK’s net bowlers a few years ago, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming regretted not signing him.
Chennai Super Kings have possessed some world-class spinners over the years, but despite being cognizant of Varun Chakaravarthy’s prodigious talent, they failed to recruit him. The leg spinner served as a net bowler for Chennai Super Kings prior to being acquired by Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) at the 2019 IPL auction.
Although it did not work out for him with the Punjab franchise, he has found a second chance with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Chakaravarthy used to ‘torture’ them during net sessions, which CSK head coach Stephen Fleming regrets to this day.
“It still stings that we were unable to purchase him at the auction. He tormented us in the nets for several years, but we were unable to retain him due to the auction and the current state of affairs. Fleming stated in a post-match press conference that the Tamil Nadu players on all the various teams were aware of him. “We were unable to keep him a secret,” he added.
When he bowled against us in the nets, we were very impressed with his talent. Fleming
The spin brothers of KKR, Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine, took four wickets in the match, limiting the scoring rate of the Chennai batters. Fleming believed that the Chepauk surface favored the KKR spinners significantly more than the local team. The former New Zealand captain added that they would have liked to have Chakaravarthy on board, but it was not to be. Currently in contention for the IPL 2023 Purple Cap, the KKR spinner has taken 19 wickets this season.
“When he bowled against us in the nets, we were very impressed by his talent, and we would have adored him. Today, he bowled exceptionally well, so he is a weapon. In the proper circumstances, when both Narine and he are operating, they are a very potent combination. They probably don’t have the best bowling conditions in Kolkata, so when they come to conditions like this, they excel,” he added.