2017-18 Ranji Trophy: Karnataka's K Gowtham makes a big statement after returning from suspension
Exactly a month ago, Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham was suspended by the BCCI for missing a Duleep Trophy match as he produced a medical certificate claiming that he is suffering from Typhoid. The BCCI obliged it and released him from the Duleep Trophy squad.
A couple of days later, he was spotted playing for Belgavi Panthers in the Karnataka Premier League. This made the BCCI set up an inquiry and as a result of it, the all-rounder was dropped from the India A squad for the two four-day fixtures against the visiting New Zealand A side and was temporarily suspended for disciplinary reasons.
Later, he apologized for what happened and clarified the BCCI on what exactly happened. "I thought it was typhoid but it turned out to be viral fever," he stated in his apology letter and the board accepted the apology and lifted the suspension imposed on him.
Playing his first match since the KPL match that got him into trouble, Gowtham was fantastic for Karnataka as he made a big statement with both bat and ball in his team's 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season opener against Assam in Mysuru.
Speaking about the last one month, the all-rounder played down all the negativity that was surrounding him and admitted that he was disturbed by what happened before he decided to move on from the saga.
"Nothing much has changed. Whatever happened in the last one month was really unfortunate. I had to go past that and look forward to what I can do from here. It didn't affect me much mentally. Yes, I was a little disturbed but you got to move on and do what you got to do," Gowtham told Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview.
His spell of 4-20 in 12 overs on day 1 helped his team dismiss Assam for just 145 in the first innings. After opener R Samarth's century helped Karnataka take the all-important first-innings lead, Gowtham walked out to bat at the fall of the third wicket and he looked fluent.
There was no kind of nervousness for a player who is returning from a suspension as he smashed a 170-ball 149 with the help of 10 fours and six sixes that propelled his team to 469/7 in the first innings with a crucial 324-run lead. Adding to that, Gowtham accounted for three wickets for 31 runs and played a big part in Assam getting dismissed for 205 in the second innings and handing Karnataka a win by an innings and 121 runs.
He ended up with a match tally of 7/51 with the ball and scored 149 runs with the bat in the first innings. His contributions played a big role in Karnataka taking all the seven points that were at stake. Incidentally, the century against Assam was also his maiden first-class ton. He was very happy to have scored his first ton and compared the milestone with his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.
"It was a great feeling. I was delighted when I reached the three-figure mark. I had the same happiness I had when I reached my first five-wicket haul. I always like to contribute for with both and ball. It is a great feeling that I was able to contribute to the team in a winning cause. I am very happy for what happened in the last four days," he added.
Gowtham has been a regular member of the India A team since he scored a brisk fifty against the visiting Australians earlier this year. His domestic performances also got him an IPL contract with the Champions Mumbai Indians and Gowtham's career about to take off ahead of the new season before some unfortunate things happened.
After making a comeback, he didn't set any goals for himself. All he wants is to do well for his team and if he manages to do so, things will automatically take care of themselves.
"The goal is to win the Ranji Trophy. I myself don't believe in personal goals. I just want to do well for the team. If I start doing that, there is no need to worry about anything else because things will take care of themselves," he concluded.