Home > Features > Interviews >

Varun Aaron eyes comeback trail with impressive performances in Ranji Trophy

Varun Aaron clocked 153kmph while bowling for Jharkhand against Gujarat in Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2011 © Getty Images
Varun Aaron clocked 153 kmph while bowling for Jharkhand against Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2011 © Getty Images

When Varun Aaron first played for India in 2011, the nation felt that its prayers for a genuine quick were answered. However, injuries halted his progress and two years after his maiden international experience, he is back with a slightly reworked action and is raring to go in the Ranji Trophy. Nishad Pai Vaidya caught up with the speedster after Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy game against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium.

When Jharkhand and Gujarat faced-off in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final in 2011 in a relatively obscure setting at Indore, little did anyone expect a fast-bowler would make waves with his thunderous pace. Thus, when Varun Aaron clocked over 153 kmph, India held its breath even as their side was playing the 2011 World Cup. The nation has yearned for that genuine quick for long and as a result, Aaron shot himself into the limelight with that reality-altering delivery against Gujarat,  and his life changed forever. “It wasn’t that delivery alone, but that tournament changed things for me as we went on to win it. It was a good platform for my career,” Aaron reminisces.

Since then, Aaron went onto represent the country, before injuries took their toll on his body. Stress fractures of the back ruled him out of the tour to Australia and thereafter, he only made a few appearances for the Delhi Daredevils side in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Two years after his Test debut, he is charting his comeback by turning up for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy. So far, he has taken 17 wickets in four games at an average of 18.05. This is an important tournament for him, as he last played a competitive game during the IPL in 2012.

“I had a surgery in March this year. This came after the two stress fractures. I have then worked in the gym on my core strength and was trying to get my body stronger. Plus, I have changed my action a little,” Aaron said after helping Jharkhand get crucial points against Mumbai with a first innings lead at the Wankhede Stadium. His four-for in the first innings was crucial in bowling out a strong side after Saurabh Tiwary’s double ton had powered Jharkhand to a total of over 300. Not only that, but his two wickets on the final day’s play also gave the hosts a scare, as they held on for a draw. For him, the venue holds a special place in his heart. Aaron said, “I have not only made my Test and One-Day International (ODI) debuts here. In fact, I also played my first under-19 state game. This is a venue that motivates me to do well and is very special.”

The rise and the changes

Let us rewind to 2011.

Months after he bowled that thunderbolt to Neeraj Patel of Gujarat, Aaron donned the India jersey, as he made his One-Day International (ODI) debut against England in October 2011. A month down the line, he received his Test cap from VVS Laxman when the West Indies toured India. Before the international call-up, he had toured Australia with the Emerging Players Squad and then toured England with the senior side. Did all that happen too fast after the 2010-11 season? “Not really,” says Aaron, “I didn’t jump directly from the Ranji Trophy. I had toured Australia and did well in the Emerging Players Tournament. That was a good series for me.”

So, when he played for India, the crowds were thrilled to see him running in hard and consistently bowling over 140 kmph with a strong and smooth action. “There is a slight change in my action now. It is not big, but just a slight adjustment. I have a more open backfoot, as it points towards the batsman on the delivery stride. Ideally, it should be a little towards fine-leg, but I am still working on it.” And what about pace? Has it changed? After all, he had promised that he won’t compromise on that aspect of his game. “No changes in pace,” says Aaron confidently, “I get a little more movement though.”

Although, he did impress with his pace, one of the more memorable moments for him in his international career was with the bat during an ODI against West Indies at Cuttack. In company of Umesh Yadav, Aaron battled some nervous moments and helped India seal a dramatic one-wicket victory. “I do bat decently. However, I haven’t done well this season and my teammates are giving me some stick for it,” Aaron says with a chuckle.

Showing all that promise early on, Aaron would loved to have bowled in Australia (in 2011) or overseas conditions where his style of bowling would get good assistance. “I am looking forward to bowling in overseas conditions where fast-bowlers do get help. However, selection is not in my hand and all I can do now is perform to the best of my abilities,” says Aaron.

Thus, for now, he is focusing on the Ranji Trophy, as the road to make a comeback has only begun. Jharkhand have lost two of their six matches in the Ranji Trophy this season and need to stay in the Elite Group. “Right now, I aim to help my team to stay in the elite group of the Ranji Trophy. I have to play more games to get stronger and so that my body also gets used to it. For that to happen, I have to play four and five-day matches.”

For any fast-bowler, scripting a comeback after a back injury is never easy due to the intensity of the workload. However, Aaron is making the right strides by taking wickets and although, he lost two precious years to injuries, he would be on the selectors’ radar, if he maintains form and fitness throughout the season.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014  at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes won by 86 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

CLT20 2014: Wasim Akram heaps praise on Gautam Gambhir’s leadership

Live Cricket Score Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 9: Hurricanes register massive 86-run win

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 9: Preview

Brendon McCullum’s stunning fielding effort in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs Dolphins Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

Ben Hilfenhaus, Aiden Blizzard star in massive 86-run win for Hobart Hurricanes against Northern Knights in CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights lose their sixth wicket

Scott Styris becomes only 2nd player to get T20 double of 4000 runs and 100 wickets during Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights sink further after fourth wicket

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights struggling after massive set-backs

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Highlights

Cricket in Canada: Coach Mukesh Narula travels around the vast nation to train players

Australia on the verge of handing out 50 Test caps in a decade!

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

First Kiss Parody: Watch this hilarious parody of the video First Kiss

Here’s why the Bigg Boss 8 Secret Society is a big flop!

Bigg Boss 8: Sushant Divgikar hopes to sensitise TV viewers to LGBT cause via Salman Khan’s show

Xiaomi offering free micro-SIM card trays to Mi 3 owners

इन खाद्द पदार्थों के द्वारा किडनी को स्वस्थ रखें

Updated Retina iPad mini and 12.9-inch iPad Pro delayed till 2015: Report

Scared you’ll lose your job? It might be the reason for your frequent asthma attacks

Asian Games 2014 Live Streaming Day 5: Watch Live Stream & Telecast of 17th Incheon Asian Games

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here