K. Gowtham: ‘This is one of the best spells I have bowled’

The off-spinner says he gave it his all after having lifted Karnataka to a 26-run win over Tamil Nadu.

K. Gowtham took eight wickets in the second innings as Tamil Nadu was bowled out for 154.   -  G. Karthikeyan

K. Gowtham these days can hardly put a foot wrong. Less than a fortnight after he delivered the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Karnataka, the off-spinner emerged the hero yet again with a career-best bowling effort (6 for 110 and 8 for 60) in the nail-biting win over Tamil Nadu. Together with the precious 73 runs he scored batting at No. 9, it was arguably his most complete performance till date.

“I don’t think there was anything else left to do,” Gowtham said after the match. “I gave it all. Travelling 10 hours by road [after his wedding last Saturday] to come out here…I wanted to give it my all. I pride myself on being a team man. This is one of the best spells I have bowled. It is not easy against Tamil Nadu, who are good players of spin. So you feel good about yourself when you take a fifer against them.”

Keeping it simple

The 31-year-old is an uncomplicated bowler, wholly trusting of his stock ball and a few subtle variations rather than trying to disrupt and confuse batsmen. “That is the reason why they [TN] found it difficult perhaps,” he said. “You don’t need to have 10 different deliveries. You need to have one delivery which is really lethal. You then need to vary your speed, line and length. That is good enough for a bowler.”

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Gowtham was particularly pleased with the way he took it up on himself to win the match. Where Tamil Nadu had lined up four spinners including R. Ashwin, Gowtham did it single-handedly. “I enjoy it more when the pressure and responsibility is on me. I am fortunate that things are working out well,” he said.

Turning point

Of his eight dismissals on Wednesday, he cherished Dinesh Karthik’s the most. “He missed the line completely. He is a great player of spin. He was the biggest threat for us. He takes the game deep. His wicket was the turning point.”

“None of us had any doubt [about bowling out TN],” he added. “From being nowhere, we reached a position from where we couldn’t lose. So that itself set it up for us in terms of belief. We never had a thought about not winning the game.”

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