During the recently concluded ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, India U-19 pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s fast and intimidating bowling made everyone sit up and take notice. The 18-year-old speedster finished the Youth World Cup with 9 wickets in 6 matches as the Boys in Blue became the only team in history to lift the coveted title for a record fourth time.
Addressing the media after returning to the homeland on Monday (February 5), Nagarkoti said that he wants to follow the footsteps of senior India pacemen – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami going ahead in his career.
"I keep Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in mind whenever there is a particularly tricky situation facing me," Nagarkoti quoted as saying by PTI.
"I try to think how they would have bowled and try emulate that. I haven't met them yet, hopefully in the coming days I will get a chance to chat with them," he added.
Nagarkoti’s heroics during the U-19 World Cup saw him being picked by the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 3.20 crores. Ecstatic with his growth, the teenage pace sensation said that he would try to do well in the Vijay Hazare trophy and then in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
"I am focused now on playing the one-day matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and then the IPL later. I'll try to do well in both. I will try not to let up on speed, but will try to bowl according to the situation," Nagarkoti said.
Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi were the pace spearheads of the U-19 team during the World Cup and the duo constantly clocked over 145 kmph. In fact, during the league match against Australia U-19, the speed-gun once showed Mavi hit the 146 kmph mark while Nagarkoti neared 147 kmph.
"I did not expect bowling that fast. This was the second time that I have managed to clock such a high speed. I had done it once in England, so this was the second time.
"While pace was in focus, (bowling coach) Paras Mhambrey sir taught us how to bowl in the right areas. That was our main focus," said Nagarkoti.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti also admitted that bowling in tandem with Mavi helped him a lot.
"I started playing since 7th-8th. Bowling in tandem with Shivam (Mavi) worked quite well for us. It was a great experience. When your partner is bowling well and supporting you, then bowling in that flow was quite satisfying," the young pacer concluded.