Basil on the fast lane to glory

Kerala's young pacer Basil Thampi has been named in the India squad for the T20 series against Sri Lanka, and he is looking forward to a memorable outing.

Basil Thampi at the Lalbhai Contractor Staduim, Surat.   -  P. K. Ajith Kumar

Under the watchful eyes of Tinu Yohannan, Kerala’s bowling coach, Basil Thampi came charging in and hurled the ball with lightening speed. He may have been bowling only at the nets at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium here on a wintry morning, but it still was a fascinating sight.

After his stint with the ball, he said he was eagerly looking forward to Kerala’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Vidarbha, starting here on December 7. “I enjoyed my spells against Haryana at Lahli,” he told Sportstar.

“And it felt nice to contribute with the bat, too.”

READ: Washington Sundar makes it to India squad for Sri Lanka T20 series

Little did he imagine at the time that the happiest moment of his career was just a few hours away: his name was there in India’s squad for against Sri Lanka for the Twenty20 series. “I have begun to dream of playing for India,” he had told this writer during the course of the last IPL season, in which he was chosen as the Emerging Player.

READ: After waiting game, Parthiv ready for the challenge

He had made quite an impression, with Gujarat Lions, with his sheer pace and yorkers, which he bowled with remarkable regularity.

His rise may have surprised many, but those who have seen him as a rookie bowler in Kerala knew that he was something special.

One still recalls watching him for the first time during another nets, at the scenic Wayanad Cricket Stadium, Krishnagiri, a couple of seasons ago. He had made a huge impression on the then Director of Kerala Cricket, Chandrakant Pandit.

READ: Washington: 'Happy I am joining the Indian squad when Dhoni is in the team'

But, it was the live telecast of the South Zone T20 matches in Chennai that proved the turning point in his career. “Because of the telecast, the world came to know that I was capable of bowling consistently above 140 kmph,” he had said then. “It was just my fortune that the matches were being aired live.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :