While almost all Gujarat Lions bowlers were hammered around the park by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsmen during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday, young Kerala pacer Basil Thampi became the lone shining spot that the hosts could take heart from. (Gujarat Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore highlights)
Basil Thampi was the most economical Gujarat Lions bowler with figures of 4-0-31-1. Thampi had conceded just 19 runs in his first three overs, and gave away 12 runs in his final over.(Gujarat Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore scorecard)
Thampi’s performance won him praise from all quarters, while the pacer himself was thrilled to come out shining against Royal Challengers Bangalore’s world-class line-up on a batting-friendly wicket. (IPL Standings)
Thampi, who has spent reasonable time at the MRF pace foundation under Glen McGrath, revealed the tips he received from the Australian pace legend.
“It was fantastic. I got very good tips from McGrath. He said I have natural pace and that I shouldn’t compromise it,” said Thampi.
Thampi managed to claim his maiden IPL wicket in his fourth game on Tuesday when he managed to trap Chris Gayle in front of the stumps. “It was the best feeling of my life. It was my first wicket in the IPL. I got the big man’s wicket and I am very happy to get him out,” said an elated Thampi.
While pressure situation can bog any player down, especially junior cricketers, Thampi revels in it.
“The main thing is that I have to enjoy my bowling,” he said. “ Nowadays, I am bowling well and I just keep doing that. I actually allow pressure do the work while bowling like that. I know that the batsmen can hit me anytime, but I can also build the pressure. I enjoy handling pressure and if I manage to get the wicket, it is great,” he said.
Thampi said being part of the Gujarat Lions set up has made him a better bowler where he has picked up variations such as the slower deliveries. “I got my yorkers from tennis ball cricket. When I came for the camp, I kept on practising it in the nets with my coaches and they gave me a good motivation to keep doing that.
“Then I developed the back-of-the-arm delivery at the Gujarat Lions camp. My coaches showed me different types of slower ones and I am just doing that. With God’s grace the things I am trying are all coming out nicely,” he said.added