The ball swings in sharply, shatters the stumps -- Varun Aaron has castled Mooen Ali-- one of the few bright spots for India in the fourth Test against England. The ball before that Aaron had let slip a quick short delivery which had Ali fending at clumsily.
Aaron, who consistently bowled around the 140 kilometre mark in the Manchester Test, would be looking to cement his place in the Indian team. The pacer from Jharkhand, who made his debut back in 2011 against the West Indies in Mumbai, hasn't always had it easy. No less than five stress fractures have affected his short career. Pace is Aaron's main weapon and he has no intention of sacrificing it despite the injuries.
"If you have five stress fractures and still bowl fast you have got to be a little mad to do that. I don't think a normal, sane person would like to bowl fast after getting the injury," the pacer said.
While Aaron does not bowl at a blistering pace, like Jeff Thomson or Waqar Younis did in their heyday, he can regularly beat the batsman with his quickness and short deliveries.
"Varun is showing the attitude of a true pace bowler. He is quick and aggressive, and the results are there for you to see," NDTV Sport quoted former South African pace-bowling great Allan Donald as saying.
England's Stuart Broad, a fellow pacer, would testify to Aaron being quick and hostile. Broad had his nose broken after an Aaron 87.5 miles per hour short delivery snuck in through his helmet and hit him on the third day of the fourth Test. No doubt Broad will greet Aaron with a few short deliveries of his own in the final Test at the Oval, which starts on Independence Day Friday.
Aaron will have to strive hard to be fit as the stress fractures have occurred with alarming regularity in his life. Stress fractures cause pain only when bowling, according to him.
The Jharkhand man could have toured Australia in 2011 but as luck would have it he had a stress fracture. More ill-luck was to follow in 2012 as another stress fracture befell him. This is one period he would love to forget.
"In 2011 I got injured after my debut Test. Then I played the IPL, but the same stress fracture occurred again. My aim was to recover and play the Ranji Trophy in the next season. Everything was going well, and then suddenly during the rehab there was a relapse. That was definitely the lowest point of my career," the pacer revealed.
That stage is well behind him fans would hope. He appeared to be in good shape in the fourth Test at Old Trafford. Aaron and another pacer Umesh Yadav in tandem can ensure that India have the ammunition to hit back when oppositions go at them with extreme pace.
One remembers Yadav hitting Ricky Ponting on the elbow with a fast short ball in Melbourne in the first Test of the India-Austalia series in 2011. Yadav's absence in England is baffling considering the Englishmen have had a tough time coping with serious pace of late especially when the ball is pitched short.
"Those two are the quickest bowlers. What makes them attractive is they are very aggressive mentally. They can get stuck in," said former South African paceman Allan Donald, according to Cricinfo.
Indian fans would be hoping Aaron can get stuck in when India take on England in the final Test at the Oval.