K Gowtham made it big in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. The 'not so famous' name turned out to be the backbone of his franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR). The all-rounder picked up 11 wickets bowling mostly in the powerplays and also scored some very important cameos for the team. He added runs with a strike rate of 196.87.
His innings against Mumbai Indians was the knock which boosted his confidence. With 43 needed off 17, most of the RR players would have lost hope but not Gowtham. He scored an unbeaten 33 off 11 which shaped up his season.
Talking to Sportstar, the Karnataka cricketer said self-belief is in his nature. “It's in my nature. I've been the same since my junior days. I've never needed someone to pump me up. That day, I thought if I hit a couple of big ones, we could definitely pull it off," he said.
Gowtham was in the Mumbai squad last year but he couldn't get a chance to play for them. “I've got better as a player [this IPL]. My confidence has grown. I believe that on my day I can do wonders.”
The newly famed cricketer will look to carry the form into the India-A's tri-series against West Indies-A and England Lions, starting in the UK next week. "It's not about my own numbers. I want to help the team win games," he says.
Gowtham reveals he has worked hard and changed himself both mentally and physically in last six years. “I have changed physically and mentally (since 2012),” he said. “My fitness has improved. And the way I think is a complete change from before. There are no doubts when I enter the field now.”
He wasn't the same few years back. The negative vibes had a clutch over him and he even doubted his own game. “When you're not doing well and you're not getting picked for anything, you get negative thoughts,” he said. “Six years back, I wondered if I should continue playing cricket. When you're not getting anything financially, you start doubting yourself. But my parents were most supportive. They said, 'You just go and play.' To see them happy now...I enjoy that more than my own success.”
The IPL has brought him fame, Gowtham admits. “When you walk around, people notice you now. But this is what you play for, isn't it? This is what you live for.”
With fame, he did get a big amount. RR had bought him for Rs. 6 crores. But money hasn't changed him. “I'm still the same person,” he said. “If you get carried away by all that, you must remember that everything can come crashing down with one bad game. You have to enjoy the moment. But you don't have to fly. Keep your feet on the ground. Just don't fake anything.”