Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: The switch that made the difference for Shrijith

K.L. Shrijith received his maiden call-up to the Karnataka squad on the basis of stellar performances in recent inter-club limited-overs tournaments.

K.L. Shrijith earned his spot by finishing as the highest run-scorer in the Y.S. Ramaswamy Memorial 50-over tournament and the KSCA Twenty20 league.   -  Special Arrangement

K.L. Shrijith received his maiden call-up to the Karnataka squad on the basis of stellar performances in recent inter-club limited-overs tournaments.

The Vultures Cricket Club wicketkeeper-batsman earned his spot by finishing as the highest run-scorer in the Y.S. Ramaswamy Memorial 50-over tournament and the KSCA Twenty20 league.

Shrijith and B.R. Sharath are the two wicketkeepers in the squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which commences here on Sunday.

Mithun’s encouragement

Shrijith’s journey started at Vultures CC a decade ago. He moved up the ranks quickly, representing the club in the KSCA first division as a teenager. Shrijith credits senior pacer and Vultures teammate A. Mithun for spotting his talent early and encouraging him.

Incidentally, Shrijith began as a right-hander before becoming a southpaw.

READ: Bengal captain Anustup Majumdar ready for the challenge

“I was ambidextrous when I was younger. When I played tennis-ball cricket, I couldn’t score much when I played right-handed, which is my dominant grip. But once I switched to left-handed, I found I could score more.

“When I started playing leather-ball cricket, I had the same problem. Once, during a tournament, I batted right-handed in the first match and didn’t score runs. So I switched to left for the next game and hit 40-odd.

“I started batting left-handed that day onwards. My coach wasn’t too impressed. I got yelled at that day, but in my defence, I did make it to the Karnataka team (laughs),” Shrijith said.

Looking ahead

The 24-year-old is keen to make the most of chances that may come his way. “I just want to continue to scoring like I have in the last two-three seasons. I’m doing something right, so I will stick to that for as long as it works. And then I hope to be picked for the IPL,” Shrijith said.

  Dugout videos