Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan

Former cricketer Irfan Pathan has backed mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy to be the X-factor for India in the T20 World Cup 2021, which will be played in the United Arab Emirates in October-November.

Irfan Pathan backs Varun Chakravarthy 

Chakravarthy recently made his India debut in Sri Lanka in August where he picked 2 wickets in the 3-T20I series in Colombo. His IPL exploits have earned him a place in India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup.

Varun Chakravarthy produced match-winning figures of 3 for 13 from his 4 overs to script Kolkata Knight Riders’ 9-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore as they restarted their campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Chakravarthy was adjudged Player of the Match for his bowling performance and Pathan feels the 30-year-old will be equally important for India when they play in the T20 World Cup in the same country from next month.

Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy

“He can be a huge X-factor. You have not played him in international cricket, you have definitely played him in the IPL but the dynamics are slightly different in the IPL. When you play him in the World Cup after playing him in the IPL, it will still be different, the World Cup pressure will be different and the mystery will remain,” Pathan said on Star Sports.

“If you remember the 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan started using the knuckle ball in the World Cup and not before that. That was a surprise delivery. So, the surprise factor is definitely beneficial when you play a new thing or bowler. Something similar can happen for Varun Chakravarthy,” he added.

India will begin their campaign in the Super 12 stages of the tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. The 2007 champions will also face Afghanistan and New Zealand along with 2 qualifiers in Group 2. The top 4 teams from each group of the Super 12 will progress to the knockout stages.

India will play a total of 4 matches in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. None of their Super 12 matches are scheduled in Sharjah.