But genuinely quick pacers are always troubled by injuries and Aaron was no different. Frequent injuries meant that Aaron could play only 9 Tests and 9 ODIs for India. Aaron last played for India in the 2nd Test against South Africa in Bengaluru in 2015.
In the Indian Premier League, Aaron has played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, King XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.
Pace yourselves for the Titan Express 🏃🏻⚡#SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe #TATAIPL https://t.co/dTW2sR5IUw
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1648383872000
In the 2020 IPL auction, Aaron was bought by new franchise Gujarat Titans for Rs 50 lakh.
Ahead of his team’s first match against Lucknow Super Giants on Monday, Aaron talked to TimesofIndia.com about what he is learning from Gujarat Titans head coach and prominent former India pacer Ashish Nehra, his Team India comeback aspirations and how his overall speed has been affected by injuries.
What are your thoughts ahead of the Gujarat Titans’ debut IPL season?
It is the start of a new journey for all of us in the team. I am really excited to be in this franchise. The vibe has been really great. We have got not just a great team but a great set of people together and it has been really fun. It will be even more fun when we win and do well because when that happens, the bonding only gets better. I am really looking forward to the season.
One of the people in the Gujarat Titans’ setup is head coach Ashish Nehra. How have your interactions been with him and what have you learnt from him?
I have always wanted to work with him and spend some time with him. It so happened that everything aligned and I got picked by Gujarat Titans, where he is the head coach. Our journeys are quite similar, with the amount of injuries we’ve had and the number of times we’ve had to come back, defy odds and still play the game. It is great to have him around and talk about his experiences. You don’t find people who have similar experiences as you, especially when they have been so extreme. He is a really relaxed person and you feel relaxed when you are with him. I feel I have got a really good relationship with him. There is so much to learn from him.
What are Nehraji & Varun bhai discussing?Wrong answers only ⬇️#GujaratTitans #SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe https://t.co/gm62sDDK8c
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1647587027000
You spoke about how Ashish Nehra kept coming back from injury. He even returned to play for India at 36. How much does that inspire you to try and make that India comeback?
I completely believe in myself, but when there is an example of someone doing it before you, that obviously gives you more than hope, you know that it can be done. I know it can be done. Over the last year, I spent some quality time at the MRF Pace Foundation, for the whole off-season. It has been the best build-up I could have for any IPL. I feel like I am in a great place to produce some great results for the team.
Train hard, play harder! 💪Now that the training is underway, #TATAIPL ne #AavaDe!#SeasonOfFirsts #GujaratTitans https://t.co/pDpJ2UTPzW
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1647584471000
This question has been asked to you often…Injuries have come your way but you have never compromised on your pace. Where do you find the motivation to keep that pace going?
I feel it goes beyond cricket. Especially as a fast bowler, bowling at 145kmph+, you have to devote your life to it. There haven’t been any holidays and I have never got much off time ever since I played the game because I was either playing matches or training to be faster or trying to get out of injury and doing my rehab. I look at it more as my life’s purpose to achieve my dreams and to always function at a 100 percent whenever I step onto the field.