When I feel low, I go to Sreesanth for advice: Basil Thampi
S Sreesanth, the pace sensation from Kerala whose career took a downturn following allegations of spot-fixing in IPL, finds an important mention in Basil Thampi’s list of adviserscricket Updated: Apr 26, 2018 13:04 IST
Basil Thampi has often been helped by timely advice. Some of them crucial enough for the 24-year-old Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer to let go the lure of easy money in tennis cricket, and become a top aspirant for the Indian cricket team.
Speaking on his journey from being 2017 IPL’s ‘Best Emerging Player’ to getting selected for the T20 series against Sri Lanka, Thampi never forgets to thank all those who shaped his career — from his childhood club mentor to his Kerala state cricket seniors.
S Sreesanth, the pace sensation from Kerala whose career took a downturn following allegations of spot-fixing in IPL, finds an important mention in Thampi’s list of advisers. “Yeah, I speak with Sree bhai also when I have some doubt. If I am feeling low, I message him and he replies. He tells me what to do in certain situations, or things that I ought to have done. He motivates me,” Thampi said in an interview.
It was the IPL which saw Sreesanth’s downfall, but it is the same tournament that has seen Thampi rise through the ranks.
“Now everyone knows me. It happened after the last IPL. I got confidence in my bowling. After the 2017 edition, I got a chance in Deodhar Trophy, Duleep Trophy, India A (Away tour of South Africa and home series against New Zealand). I got selected in the India team also for the Sri Lanka tour. MSK Prasad recently texted me to keep practicing hard,” he said.
Thampi’s emergence has come at a time when the Indian pace attack has an abundance of options. From Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Jasprit Bumrah, the competition is tough. Even in his new IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, Thampi has the likes of Bhuvi, Siddharth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma for company.
“I am not competing with anyone. I know my bowling well. I don’t have that much swing. What I can do is hit the right length with great speed. Last year, I consistently bowled yorkers. This time, I just want to mix the deliveries, maybe two yorkers and then a slower one. I am still working on it,” said Thampi, who picked two wickets for four runs against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday and helped his team defend a low total of 118.
Thampi also worked with Glenn McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai before the IPL 2018. “He advised me to study the batsman well. He told me of different situations during his playing days. He said I should not reduce my pace, even if that means the ball does not swing. This is not the first time I have worked with him. He and Tinu Yohannan have helped me a lot grow as a bowler,” he said.
“Whenever I am given my hundred per cent under the senior’s advice, I have got good results. During my U-19 days, I was disillusioned and wanted to go to Dubai to play tennis cricket. My friends were making good money playing there and I saw no point playing here. It was then that the secretary of my team in Ernakulum — Swantons Club — CM Deepak asked me to play for three more years. It was only then I shifted to Chennai under Tinu sir,” said Thampi.
“He helped me increase my fitness level and I got my maiden call for Kerala U-22 and then the Ranji team. Now, I am with the Sunrisers and hopefully will utilise the chances well.”