India have been dealt a blow with mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy failing to clear a mandatory Yo-Yo test ahead of the five-match T20I series against England starting this Friday. Chakravarthy is part of the 19-man India squad led by Virat Kohli that will get its preparations underway for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played later this year.

Questions are now being raised over the BCCI selection panel led by Chetan Sharma for selecting a player who despite not playing a single competitive match since last October was selected for such a high-profile series. This is not the first time that Chakravarthy has failed to clear a fitness test.

“Varun Chakravarthy was selected because he recovered from his shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Australia series. He did his rehab at the NCA and started throwing normally. However, he has failed to clear the Yo-Yo test mark stipulated for a 2km run at least twice,” a senior BCCI source was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Wednesday.

“We can understand he was doing his rehab during Mushtaq Ali (T20 Championship). But then again, he didn’t play a single Vijay Hazare Trophy game. How do you assess his match fitness based on games that he played five months back? I guess Varun Chakravarthy is a lesson for selectors,” the source added.

Chakravarthy, following his impressive outing for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020, received a maiden India call-up for the Australia T20Is. However, he returned home due to a shoulder injury and was undergoing his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Spinner Rahul Chahar, who has been part of the bio-bubble since the start of the England Test series, is in all likeliness to be inducted into the India T20I squad now. All five T20Is will be played at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.