Varun Aaron, the Jharkhand tearaway fast bowler, was tipped to be the next big thing in the Indian pace-bowling department during his initial years. Aaron made his foray into international cricket at a time when Indian cricket was desperately looking for the new generation of fast bowlers to spearhead the bowling department and take over the mantle from Zaheer Khan.
The Jharkhand fast bowler made his Test debut for India during the 2011 home series against the West Indies alongside Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Aaron recently caught with Ish Sodhi via a Facebook live session conducted by his Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals, where he named former captain Rahul Dravid as he the toughest batsman he has ever bowled to.
According to Aaron, Dravid’s ability to lunge out and smother the ball made him feel like he was a 120-125 kph bowler.
“I would say Rahul Dravid is the toughest batsman I’ve ever bowled to. Every time I turned up to bowl to him in the nets, it felt like I was just bowling at 120kph. It’s just something that he does to you. I have never bowled to a batsman who would lunge out to the max and play you as if you’ve just bowled a throw down to him. As a bowler that’s extremely irritating to bowl to somebody like him,” Varun Aaron told Ish Sodhi.
‘It would’ve been better had that incident not happened’- Varun Aaron on Stuart Broad getting hit on his nose during a 2014 Test
Aaron, who played nine Tests and as many ODIs for India between 2011-2015 revealed that sharing the dressing with legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and co, remains the highlight of his career.
“I think getting the Test cap for India is the highlight for any cricketer. No matter what one does after that, it is the highest point of his career. If you ask any of the greats, they will all say the highlight for them was getting the Test cap for India. I feel there’s nothing better than that and that’s for everyone,” Varun Aaron revealed.
He added: “I received my Test cap from Laxman. I was lucky enough to play with the likes of Sachin, Dravid, Viru back then, I mean it was surreal. The most striking moment for me was stepping onto the bus on the first day of practice and walking by all these guys, having watched them growing up as a kid, it was really special to be part of that bus,” Aaron said.
Aaron was also asked about the 2014 incident where his vicious delivery hit Stuart Broad on his nose during the Old Trafford Test. Aaron said that he was enraged by the fact that a lower-order batsman had hit him for a six and in a typical fast bowlers’ reaction, he let it rip the very next ball. Broad- the batsman- has never been the same since then and Aaron reckoned that it would have been better had the incident not happened.
“The ball before I hit Stuart Broad, he actually kind of top-edged it for a six. As a bowler, you never want to be hit for a six, especially by a lower-order batsman. So next ball I went over the wicket and decided to just let it rip and I absolutely gave everything I had on that ball. It hit him on his helmet, and initially, I realised that I couldn’t see the ball, and I was like “Oh no!”, the ball was stuck in his helmet,” he added.
“Then I went to him and saw blood dripping down from his helmet and felt really bad looking at that. At the end of the day you never want to hurt somebody. The first thing I did as soon as the innings got over was just rush to the English team’s dressing room to check on him. He had ice on him and had a broken nose, to be fair to him he turned for the next game with a face mask and played the whole game. Reflecting on it now, I feel it would’ve been better had that incident not happened, you never want to injure somebody that bad.” Aaron signed off.