Krishnappa Gowtham, the Karnataka all-rounder was one uncapped Indian player who attracted a lot of attention in the IPL 2017 auctions at Bengaluru. The Mumbai-based franchise, Mumbai Indians were keen on securing the services of the Karnataka player and dished out a whopping Rs. 2 crores for him.
The off-spinning all-rounder had put up a good show in the Ranji Trophy but it was possibly his show against the Australian team in the warm-up match two days ago that put him in the spotlight.
At 28, Gowtham is by no means a young talent, but is definitely more experienced than many of the other uncapped Indian players. At a base price of Rs. 30 lakhs, Gowtham was a steal and Mumbai and Sunrisers Hyderabad were keen in snapping him up.
Here we take a look at 5 things you probably did not know about Krishnappa Gowtham.
#5 Harbhajan Singh is his inspiration
Krishnappa Gowtham's action had a striking resemblance to that of Harbhajan Singh early in his career. He has slowed down his approach to the crease, unlike the Turbanator.
Gowtham, in fact, received an opportunity to bowl at an Australian side touring India way back in 2008, just because his action was similar to that of Harbhajan. While his action has changed bowler now, he certainly derives his inspiration from the legendary Indian spinner.
The Karnataka off-spinner cannot bowl the doosra like Harbhajan but has a wide variety of other balls to make up for that. He concentrated on learning new things while slowly changing his action to an entirely new one.
#4 Association with Erapalli Prasanna
Gowtham was picked for a camp conducted by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and got to meet legendary Indian spinner, Erapalli Prasanna. The camp was for around 20 days and Gowtham got to work closely with Prasanna.
The off-spinner fondly remembers his time with Prasanna in the camp and even holds on to the notes he took down from the legend. The former Indian bowler had asked Gowtham to work on his run-up to the wicket, which proved to be a masterstroke in his career.
Gowtham remembers Prasanna asking him to try and get the batsman bowled, which simultaneously opens up the possibility of getting LBWs and catches at slips.
#3 The long wait for a chance with the Karnataka team
Gowtham was the second highest wicket-taker in the under-15 zonal tournament but represented Karnataka only after he was elevated to the under-22 category. The all-rounder recalls the period as the toughest in his cricket career.
He never gave up on himself during the 6-7 year gap and kept working hard on his bowling. He matured as a cricketer and his regular fitness training and practice routines helped him stage a Karnataka debut.
He picked up a four-wicket haul in that match against Bengal and also slammed a half-century, helping his side to a win. He also had a great Karnataka Premier League in 2016-17 where he picked up 11 scalps at an economy of 5.58.
#2 The sparkling return to Ranji Trophy in 2016/17
Gowtham's form in the Karnataka Premier League helped him gain a spot in the Ranji Trophy side. He put in a good show against Jharkhand on his return, capturing three wickets for 97 runs.
Karnataka's bowling coach, Mansur Ali Khan's tip to run in straight to the wicket instead of diagonally helped him achieve some much-needed control. Gowtham then recorded a maiden five-wicket haul against Delhi and a career best 7/108 against Assam.
Gowtham is Karnataka's leading wicket taker in the current Ranji season, with 18 wickets in three matches, including his career best figures. The recent performances has helped him secure a 2crore deal with the Mumbai Indians.
#1 Performance against Australia in warm-up
Gowtham had already put in some good performances with the ball since his comeback. But it was with the bat that he shone in the warm-up game against the visiting Australians two days back.
Batting with a belligerent Shreyas Iyer, Gowtham slammed a 74 off a mere 68 balls. 64 of his runs came in boundaries, four of them monstrous sixes off Australia's best bowler of the match, Nathan Lyon.
Gowtham put on 138 for the seventh-wicket with Iyer, the second highest partnership in the whole match. It was the rate at which he scored his runs that stood out and possibly won him an IPL deal a day later.Published 20 Feb 2017, 13:34 IST