Shreyas Gopal made his debut for the state team against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy national cricket tournament. A technically correct batsman and a useful leg spinner, Shreyas did not do much with the bat but bowled very well to bag three crucial wickets.
Shreyas perhaps was struck by ‘nerves’ as he padded up and took guard later. He was leg before to Yadav for 11 in the first innings but when pushed up the order, was clean bowled by Javed Khan for a duck. But he claimed 3 for 52 as he cleaned up the Mumbai middle order to give his team a good chance in the game. He still has the second innings to do his bit and can prove his worth again with the ball.
In any case, Shreyas is indeed a good find and a future player for the state and possibly, if he graduates to the higher ranks, for the South Zone at least.
The 20-year-old has represented Karnataka in the junior levels.
He was the top scorer in the South Zone U-15 tournament organised by the BCCI in 2006-07. The youngster shot to prominence with the unique distinction of bagging a double hat-trick for Frank Anthony Public School against Presidency School in the inter-schools tournament.
From school to college, university and club cricket, Shreyas has progressed well. His rise might not have been meteoric but is steady. In May this year, the Jain University leg spinner produced a splendid performance as he had figures of 3 for 12 in just four overs against Aligarh University in the Twenty20 tournament.
As if to prove his credentials with the bat too, Shreyas smashed an unbeaten 132 in November this year for Karnataka A in their C K Nayudu Trophy group C game against Andhra A.
He has more than 15 centuries and about 200 wickets already in state and zonal tournaments. Last season, he scored 217 runs in six matches and took 10 wickets in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy under-19 tourney.
His all-round performances enabled Jain University win the all-India University Twenty20 title against Kent Northern Stars, Delhi. And when he made an unbeaten 216 for President’s XI against Bangalore in the Zonal two-day tournament in 2012, he had opened the eyes of the state selectors. No wonder, they have drafted him into the Ranji Trophy squad this year. Surely, Shreyas will be heard of, a lot more in the days to come.