Varun Aaron gets his first Test cap at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai today. He's played 12 First Class games before his Test call-up. And his First Class bowling average is 41.50 runs per wicket, striking at 77.2 balls per wicket - hardly the figures of a bowler that blasts his way even through domestic batting line-ups!
Aaron possesses speeds consistently averaging 140+ kmph, but there is no denying that his career has been built around just one delivery that he bowled at 153 kmph during the Vijay Hazare Trophy final for Jharkhand against Gujarat. Had he not touched the 150-mark in that match and continued with his regular 140-145 range, he might never have gotten his 2 ODIs and 1 Test (starting now) for India (and not to forget, an all-expense paid trip to England).
He performed decently in his 2 chances to represent India in ODIs, and now comes his Test debut. What if he does well here too? Are we going to take him to Australia then? Based on a decent performance against an English ODI team beaten 5-0, and upcoming performances (howsoever good) against a less-than-average West Indies side in 1 Test and upto 5 ODIs, are we really going to select him to tour Australia? I really don't think I need to mention the First Class average of 41.50 once again!
I really have no intention of sounding like a pessimist... just trying to be a realist here! Varun Aaron, with his speed, has promise and potential. But he needs to put in performances in the domestic circuit first and then rise higher. A media campaign following one delivery of 153 kmph should not be a basis for selection in India's team in any format of cricket. If he cannot improve that First Class record despite bowling against the Plate League batsmen in the Ranji Trophy, then I don't think he deserves to get his chance for an India cap.
A good performance at Wankhede Stadium today or through this Test match may make a lot of people say that my words have been proven wrong. But this is not an opinion that can change on the basis of one match, just like it was not formed on the basis of one delivery!
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