Kartik Tyagi took the wicket of dangerous looking Andre Russell after 45 runs partnership with Eoin Morgan. (Image: IPL/BCCI/Twitter)
After seeing some of his fellow net bowlers being called to the big stage in Australia, young Indian pacer Kartik Tyagi is hoping for a similar chance to show his mettle. One of the stars of the U-19 World Cup in South Africa in 2020, Kartik is yet to make a breakthrough in the senior men’s squad.
Tyagi was chosen as one of the net bowlers when India toured Australia in 2020, after the 20-year-old’s performance in the previous edition of the IPL impressed selectors. Although Tyagi picked only 9 wickets in the 10 matches he played, his scalps included Shane Watson, Shreyas Iyer, Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, Shimron Hetmyer and Jonny Bairstow. His short-pitched deliveries to heckle Jadeja and Dhoni was also praised by cricket pundits. “Bowling very fast has always been a huge motivation for me but if you can bowl fast with accuracy then only you can be very effective in T20,” says Tyagi speaking exclusively to Moneycontrol.com.
Kartik may be young and inexperienced, he is being seen as a big hope in this season. Royal’s Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara suggested that Jofra Archer’s absence could be managed by young pacers like Tyagi. “Inexperience can probably work for you and it could mean that opposition hasn't seen you either,” said Sangakkara a couple of days back in an interaction with the media. “Most of the wickets are good for batting. So, you have to be quite skillful. We have Kartik Tyagi, who did pretty well last season in patches and this year we have new additions Kuldeep Yadav and Chetan Sakariya,” added the former Sri Lankan captain.
Tyagi is also an ardent fan of Joffra Archer. “Yes, one can become like Archer. I have learnt a lot from him by seeing him bowl up close. You may hear a lot of things (from former players) but when you interact with the world class pacers like Archer, your education is different. I will try to become like Archer in future,” says Tyagi. As a young fast bowler Rajasthan Royal’s Tyagi was lucky to get the guidance and support of Bhuvneshwar Kumar as they both hailed from the same academy in Meerut. “Bhuvi bhai is always there and Jasprit Bumrah obviously is a hero for all of us but as a kid I always wanted to run and bowl fast like Bret Lee,” says Tyagi.
Tyagi has spent quality time learning with the likes of Bumrah and Shami who have been his heroes but his ‘dream’ was to bowl against Sachin Tendulkar. Another wish-list in the youngster’s diary is to discuss the nuances of fast bowling with former Australian great Brett Lee. While he may never get an opportunity to bowl against Tendulkar, his hope for a meeting with Lee may be fulfilled this season as the Australian is part of the commentary team for the host broadcaster. “I wish I could bowl against Sachin and if could have played against Lee, it would have been great. I have never met them personally but whenever I get an opportunity I will ask him (Lee) about his training methods and lifestyle,” says Tyagi.
Because of his natural speed Tyagi was noticed as a fine talent at the age of 11. He graduated fast from the U-14 level to U-19 and made his Ranji trophy debut as a 17-year-old. However, injuries have not allowed him to play in many first class games. A contract of INR 1.30 crores for Royals which he got during the IPL 2020 Player Auction has made Tyagi a ‘star’ in his close circle. However, more than money, Tyagi is grateful for the opportunities he has been getting at RR. “This is a very special team they gave me 10 matches last season since I didn’t expect more than 3-4 matches. The success of Bumrah and Kohli tells you how important it is to get a break at the right time,” says Tyagi hoping that if he can improve further from the last year, his dream to play for India may not be far.
“I want to play for India and just don’t want to be a very successful IPL bowler only. Money and fame is great which you get from a great platform like IPL but nothing can beat playing for India,” concludes Tyagi before going out for his next practice session in Mumbai.