Varun Takes the Zak Route - The New Indian Express

Varun Takes the Zak Route

Published: 01st January 2014 03:23 AM

Last Updated: 01st January 2014 03:25 AM

Team India’s two instrumental players in the World Cup triumph — Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh — did something unusual after being dropped from the squad due to fitness issues. The duo silently took the flight to France, where they trained at Brive La Gaillarde for six weeks before returning fit and fuming.

Varun Aaron, whose promising career has been blighted by injuries, too did something similar. The 24-year-old, who last played for India against the West Indies in December 2011, travelled to the Red Bull’s High Performance centre in Austria. “I went there in August and it was a great exposure for me. They had the best of training facilities and I underwent lots of scientific tests to figure out where I was struggling in terms of fitness. They also did biomechanic tests to check my endurance and it was a good learning experience,” Aaron, who was selected for the tour to New Zealand, told TNIE.

The speedster, who was out with a back injury for a year-and-a-half, agrees that understanding the body is crucial to a fast bowler. “When I was with Delhi Daredevils (IPL-5), I was not completely fit and stayed put for a month. Soon after, I had a stress fracture so I knew it was going to be long. I planned a schedule, working out at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and sat with the physio to chalk out a detailed schedule to regain fitness. I was cautious about small, small details and I didn’t want to rush back,” said Aaron.

After a lengthy lay-off, the Jharkhand bowler returned to competitive cricket against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy. Since then, he has taken 18 wickets in five matches. “The priority was to take wickets, but I also wanted to ensure I can bowl throughout the day. There is no better practice than bowling in the middle and now I can say ‘I’m fully fit’ because I knew I had the ability and it was jut a matter of fitness,” Aaron, who made his Test debut against the West Indies, said.

MRF Pace Foundation chief coach M Senthilnathan, attests Aaron’s character.  “He didn’t want to compromise on his pace and that meant he had to sit out for long to regain full fitness. But he never lost the focus and remained hungry. We worked on his action a little bit to ensure his backfoot is opened up so that there is not much stress on his left ankle,” he said.

Inputs of former MRF director and legend Dennis Lillee also helped him. “I was in touch with Dennis Lillee because he has seen me a lot and even he had stress fracture. So he helped me with his inputs,” he signed off.

india squads for new zealand tour

Tests: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishwar Pandey.

In: Ishwar Pandey

Out: Pragyan Ojha

ODIs: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Amit Mishra.

In: Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron

Out: Yuvraj Singh, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav

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