Vastavam web: From a promising bowler in Kerala to the ‘Emerging Player’ award in this year’s IPL, to a spot in the India T20 team, Basil Thampi’s rise has been rather quick.The 24-year old paceman, who has been in the selectors’ radar for a while, said he was surprised to learn from the KCA secretary Jayesh George about him being picked for the national side.The lanky paceman is currently with the Kerala team, which will face Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals beginning on December 7.
He is keen to help his state team reach the Ranji Trophy semifinals for the first time ever by putting it across Vidarbha.”In the past one year, I have become a more confident bowler and I’m hopeful of doing well for India against Sri Lanka,” said Thampi, who trains at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai under the watchful eyes of Australian legend Glenn McGrath.Having turned out for Gujarat Lions in this year’s IPL and announcing himself as a man to watch for the future by unleashing yorkers at will, Thampi is now keen to do well at the international level.
“The IPL this year was a turning point in my career, especially the match against Mumbai Indians. In my last two overs I bowled something like 10 yorkers to batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. This got me noticed,” he said.The performance in the IPL gave him the confidence to bowl well against different opposition, he said and added that he carried it forward into the “A” team matches and the Duleep Trophy.Thampi, while playing for India “A” against New Zealand “A” in a one-dayer in Visakhapatnam in October, removed three rival batsmen in four balls to trigger a collapse.Former India pacer Tinu Yohannan, who is bowling coach for Kerala currently, said it is “a well-deserved break for Basil.”
Also, he said his consistent performances in various tournaments had earned him a spot in the national squad.”Really proud moment for us in the Kerala team and Kerala cricket. His consistent performances from last year’s Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy has earned him a call now,” Yohannan said.Former Australia cricketer and well-known coach Dav Whatmore, who is coaching the Kerala team this year, also heaped praise on Thampi and said he had great potential.”Very happy for Basil. He’s got great potential and in time I feel will play in other formats,” he said.
MRF Pace Foundation head coach Senthilnathan said it was a great moment for the academy as Thampi got a national call- up.Thampi has put in a lot of hard work and learnt from McGrath.