CHENNAI: As the saying goes, fast bowlers hunt in pairs. This held true when Rajasthan skipper Pankaj Singh, along with rookies Nathu Bharat Singh and Kamlesh Nagarkoti (who took a hat-trick), inflicted a shocking 14-run defeat on Ranji champions Gujarat in their Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.
National selection committee chairman MSK Prasad then had a word with the youngsters and praised them. For Kamlesh, an India U-19 player making his List A debut here, picking up a treble was a dream come true. The seventeen-year old bowls with a whippy action, and all three of his victims were castled. “It was great bowling at a hallowed centre like Chepauk. Pace comes naturally to me.
I train at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy, and like many teammates, want to polish my game at the MRF Pace Foundation. I’ve heard about the Chennai league and am I’m keen to play here,” said Kamlesh, who showed he can bat too, with his 56 not out.
Nathu, a product of the MRF Pace Foundation, first made an impression two seasons back, when in his debut game against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy, he managed figures of 7/87. The son of a labourer in a wire factory near Jaipur credits his growth to Glenn McGrath. “It was special to learn from him.
He listened to me and asked me to bowl quick. He worked on my follow through and loading. He was satisfied with my pace, and told me to develop an out-swinger,” said Nathu.
M Senthilnathan, chief coach at MRF, believes the youngster can be a quality pacer. “Nathu has tremendous potential. He just needs to work a little harder,” he observed.
Nathu, picked for `3.2 crores by Mumbai in the last IPL season, could not make an impact due to injury. This year, he was chosen by Gujarat Lions for `50 lakhs. “It’ll be nice to learn from Dwayne Bravo and Praveen Kumar,” opined Nathu.