If there is one fast bowler in the world that young Kamlesh Nagarkoti can relate the most to and feel inspired by, it is his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) teammate and ace quick from Australia, Pat Cummins.
Cummins also burst into the limelight very young, making his Test debut at the age of 18. However, the injuries soon followed, as Cummins was operating at a speed his body wasn't yet ready to consistently take the toll of.
Once Cummins got fitter and stronger, he made a terrific comeback in Australia's Test side and hasn't looked back since.
The now 27-year-old offered a word of healthy advice to Nagarkoti, whose journey has been similar so far and is expected to follow the same path.
Nagarkoti has been plagued by injuries since raising eyebrows at the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, with his pace and hostility too good for opponents in that tournament. He was instantly picked by KKR but hasn't been able to play a game for the franchise.
The 20-year-old will be hoping to get back on the park and perform for his team in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE.
"The big one that all the coaches and ex-players who have gone through similar things, is just to be patient. It's very easy to say, but as an 18-year-old, missing games is a hard thing to believe," Cummins told KKR in their latest episode of 'Knights Unplugged'.
"No doubt, that was the biggest thing... I had to trust that I might have a season or 2 at the start of my career, but that might mean I can play when 36 or 37 as opposed to when I am 31 or 32, I am injured and broken and bowled all the balls I have."
"Just having trust that everything I was doing was going to set a foundation for a long and healthy career. Still, try and make sure you love your cricket, I love going to training and hanging out with my teammates. 90 percent of the reason why I love cricket is hanging out with my mates," he added.
Cummins, who became one of IPL's highest-bid players when he was bought by KKR for INR 15.5 crores last auction, has reached the gulf ahead of his team's first game next Wednesday (September 23) against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi.
The Australian is especially excited to play with head coach Brendon McCullum overseeing the team.
"First thing is, I am very excited that I don't have to bowl to him anymore because he was one of the most-feared hitters to bowl to," he said. "It might be the first ball of the match but he might be running at you and hitting you back over your head for a six. I am happy that he is on my team as a coach."
"He is someone whom I really admired from afar when he was captain of New Zealand and when I came up against him quite a few times in IPL. I love the way he goes about his business, really fearless, wants to put on a show, wants to take the game on, always wants to take the more positive option."
"When you play against 100 thousand people in India, and at times, you tend to take the option which is more safe, I love the way he just forces you to take risks and not worry too much if it doesn't come off. I am looking forward to working under him," Cummins added.