Even Sourav Ganguly was impressed after witnessing his raw pace in the recently concluded ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand. Since then, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, the right arm pacer from Rajasthan has become the most talked about junior cricketer in India. He was not only successful in the World Cup, but also got paid over RS 3 Crore to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the coming IPL. After returning from New Zealand, the talented pacer gave time to Sportswallah.com for an exclusive interview.
Here are the excerpts:
Sportswallah (SW): Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was full of admiration after he saw you bowl in the first match of the World Cup against Australia. He even tweeted about you. Have you heard about it?
Kamlesh Nagarkoti (KN): I have not only heard of this, I also have seen the post. It was a proud moment for me as he commented about my performance. I am grateful to Sourav Ganguly sir. At the same time I have a feeling that people are expecting me to do well. Now, it's my duty to fulfil their expectations.
SW: What you want to say about India U 19 bowling attack as it proved to be the best in this World Cup?
KN: The combination was the key as we know how to bowl in different conditions and everyone knew about their plans. We saw some videos which also helped us to analyse the strength and weakness about the opposition batsmen. It was completely a team work and the credit for our success in the World Cup should go to the entire team.
SW: What was your plan in New Zealand where the wickets and condition help pace bowling?
KN: Rahul Dravid sir said me not to look at the batsman and just to give my best in the field and follow the basics. I followed his instructions. Sir also told me not to get carried away with the extra amount of bounce and pace that fast bowlers usually get in New Zealand. The plan was to bowl in a set line and length and to create pressure on the batsman.
SW: You played First-Class cricket for Rajasthan. Did it help you to perform well in the World Cup?
KN: There are some experienced players in the Rajasthan team like Pankaj Bhaiya (Pankaj Singh) and Nathu Bhaiya (Nathu Singh) who helped me a lot by giving valuable tips and sharing their experiences. It helped me to understand how I should bowl on different types of wickets. And obviously playing First-Class cricket will always help you to learn how to handle pressure situation and how to compete with the best in the game. I was more matured bowler going into the World Cup only because of my experience at First-Class level.
SW: It is learnt that your childhood coach Surendra Singh Rathore played an instrumental role in your career. Would you please narrate the journey?
KN: I bowled quick from my childhood. But my coach Surendra sir helped me a lot to be a groomed pace bowler. He helped me to rectify my bowling action. He changed my wrist position which enabled me to get extra bounce from any surface. Later, at MRF Pace Foundation at Chennai, Senthil Nathan sir did a lot to fine tune my bowling. I am grateful to both of them.
SW: After getting chance to play in the IPL for KKR, how do you feel?
KN: I dreamt of playing in IPL. It’s great for me that I got the chance to play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). There are many experienced players in the squad and I will try to learn from them. It will be a learning experience for me.
SW: The newly laid Eden Gardens wicket helps the fast bowlers. Will it be an added advantage for you?
KN: Yes definitely it will help but, I will look to stick to my basics and I will talk to the coach and support staffs and try to ball according to the plan. My primary aim is to make my place in the first eleven.
SW: Who is your favorite bowler?
KN: Mohammed Shami and Bhubaneswar Kumar.
SW: What would you ask them if get a chance to talk?
KN: I will try to learn as many things as possible as they are my idols. I am looking for an opportunity to meet them.