Five years in domestic cricket can make you a veteran. But for 22-year-old KP Appanna, this is a rebirth.
When Sunil Joshi retired earlier this year, Appanna was expected to step up to the plate. Being in Joshi's mould, a left-arm spinner, it was natural.
Expectations apart, it was tough to get highlighted with three international-level seamers in the Karnataka line-up.
But Appanna had a key weapon --- newfound confidence. The turning track helped as he took eleven wickets in the match, six in second innings, to help Karnataka thrash Railways by an innings and 51 runs.
"The responsibility has increased. Joshi's are big boots to fill," says Appanna. His coach, when asked how much of Joshi is there in him, said, "This guy's got his own style."
His action is less classical than Joshi but the effect in this game was just as good. "When Joshi was there, I would get wickets because everyone played him with restraint and went after me. Now, I have to create opportunities."
He mixed deliveries well. His favourite wickets on the third day were of JP Yadav and Murali Kartik. "I deceived Kartik with the loop to get him bat and pad. To Yadav, I bowled the faster and straighter one."
Enough variety for a youngster who is serious about playing top-grade cricket despite three years with Royal Challengers Bangalore and dad's coffee estate in Coorg to fall back upon. He doesn't want to think about coffee till he is 35 and would want to get back to IPL T20 after missing last season due to injury. "You learn variations in length through IPL T20."
Brief scores: Karnataka 347 bt Railways 134 & 162 (S Shukla 34, KP Appanna 6-68)