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18-year-old ambidextrous bowling all-rounder Mokit Hariharan: The find of 2018 TNPL

Mokit Hariharan bowling right-arm off-spin (left) and slow left-arm spin
Mokit Hariharan bowling right-arm off-spin (left) and slow left-arm spin
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The 2018 Tamil Nadu Premier League came to an end last night with Siechem Madurai Panthers, the franchise from Madurai, which didn't win a single match in the first two editions, beating Dindigul Dragons to win the tournament.

Over the last 30 days, a lot of veterans and young prospects showcased their skills in front of thousands watching the matches from the ground and on Television. The usual suspects like KB Arun Karthik, S Aniruddha, T Natarajan, Athisayaraj Davidson etc. showed why they are few of the best T20 players in the state while young and exciting prospects like Madurai's CV Varun and Abhishek Tanwar, Dindigul's M Silambarasan, Kovai's S Ajith Ram etc. made their mark in the tournament.

But, the find of the tournament should easily be VB Kanchi Veerans all-rounder Mokit Hariharan, who impressed everyone with both bat and ball. The 18-year-old was Veerans' shining light in the tournament as he ended up with 136 runs in five innings at an average of 34 and a strike-rate of 118.

His unbeaten 77 on his Veerans debut against iDream Karaikudi Kaalai is easily one of the best knocks in the tournament as he came out to bat when the team was reeling at 27/4 in the sixth over and helped them reach 166/4 in 20 overs, thanks to a 139-run partnership with Francis Rokins, who scored an unbeaten 64.

With the ball, Mokit caught everyone's eyes by bowling with both his hands. Though he remained wicketless in the tournament, he did his job for his team by conceding runs at an economy of just over 7, numbers that are decent for a spinner in the T20 format.

Sportskeeda caught up with the 18-year-old ambidextrous bowler, who was adjudged the refreshing player of 2018 TNPL, and here are the excerpts.

Q: Tell us about yourself...

I am a BCA student in Vivekananda college. My father works in Indian Railways and has played for Southern Railways and was the player-cum-coach of the team. My brother Jagannath Srinivas played for Siechem Madurai Panthers in the 2018 TNPL.

Q: How did you start bowling with both your hands?

Though right is my dominant hand, I started bowling with my left hand. Once when I bowled with my right hand, I got better control and changed to right-arm off-spin. A couple of years back, I decided to use this as an advantage and bowl with both my hands.

Q: How will you decide on what to bowl? Does it depend on the batsmen who is on strike?

It is not like I will bowl slow left-arm to right-handers and right-arm off-spin to left-handers. I will mix up both and bowl irrespective of who the batsman is. I will take the advice of my captain before coming to a conclusion on which hand I should be bowling with. I am just looking to improve my slow left-arm bowling.

Q: You have been very good with the bat for VB Kanchi Veerans in the TNPL. Tell us about your batting. How are you working on it?

My father helps me in batting. He helped me develop my skill with the bat by bowling (chucking) sidearm and taught me the basics of shot making and how I should approach when I get ready to play a shot. VB Chandrasekhar sir gave me a chance and kept supporting me throughout.

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Edited by Vignesh Ananthasubramanian
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