Currently, there is a trend in cricket for innovation amongst the players, whether it comes to batting, fielding. Now even the bowlers are turning innovative, and there are many ambidextrous bowlers on the scene.
One such ambidextrous spinner is Australia’s U16 bowler Nivethan Radhakrishnan. Nivethan is the son of former TN junior state cricketer Anbu Selvan, who moved to Australia in 2013 and is representing the New South Wales in Sydney.
“It’s a dream come true for me. I’m looking forward to the opportunities and hope to make it count. Last year, the U-16s had former Aussie pacer Ryan Harris as coach. With Greg Chappell at the helm, I think some former star cricketer could be the coach again. I’m excited about it and the exposure would be terrific,” Nivethan told TOI from Sydney.
Nivethan bowls spin with left arm and is able to bowl medium pace with his right arm. He also opens the batting and bats left handed. Nivethan said, “That’s the big advantage. We usually play two-day Grade games. During summer, spinners do the bulk of the work. The fact that I bowl with both hands comes in handy for my club. It gives me and the side an advantage as I bring a certain degree of balance.”
Nivethan had picked a hat-trick in his first ever match in TNCA lower division league match.
Nivethan, a 10th grade student at the Homebush High School in Sydney, will be part of the U-16s which will take on the Australia U-17s in the upcoming National Championships and later travel to Dubai as part of Cricket Australia’s exposure plans.
“The brand of cricket played in India and Australia is different. Boys of my age-category in Australia are definitely much stronger than in India. However, tactically Indian boys are a bit ahead. In India, during junior matches at the academy level, coaches assist the skipper with inputs regarding field placings. However, that’s not the case in Australia. Coaches won’t interfere during a match. They talk only during breaks,” explained Nivethan, who played for Karaikudi Kalaai in the Tamil Nadu Premier League last season.
“I love Sachin Tendulkar’s technique, Kohli’s aggression, Steve Smith’s game plan, Shakib’s arm-ball and Nathan Lyon’s offies. But I want to emulate what Sir Garry did as a complete allrounder,” he added.
Nivethan has received help from Nathan Lyon and said “The only top Aussie cricketer I have spoken to till date is Lyon. It was his inputs which made me improve as a bowler. I used to be chest-on earlier. He told me to come more side-on. I tried implementing it and it helped me generate bounce and spin. Even on flat wickets, because of my action, I was able to grip and turn the ball.”