Tinu Youhanan: 'Future bright for young Kerala bowlers'

The likes of Abhishek Mohan, M.D.Nideesh, K.M. Asif and left-arm spinner K.C. Akshay could be groomed to play cricket at the highest level, according to former India pacer and Kerala bowling coach Tinu Youhanan.

Kerala has fared well in the bowling department despite the absence of one of its key pacer Basil Thampi, who has been advised two weeks' rest due to a minor leg injury.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Former India pacer Tinu Youhanan is excited about a bunch of young Kerala fast bowlers, who “can be groomed properly to play at the highest level.”

Even without one of its key pacer Basil Thampi, who has been advised two weeks' rest due to a minor leg injury, a crop of up-and-coming bowlers, along with the experienced Sandeep Warrier, have shouldered responsibility for Kerala in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy Group B matches.

And Youhanan thinks the future is bright for the young batch of bowlers, including Abhishek Mohan, M.D.Nideesh, K.M. Asif and left-arm spinner K.C. Akshay

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“Abhishek is a medium fast bowler who can move the ball either way with seam and swing. Nidheesh bowls fast with accuracy and has got variations. Asif clocks 145kmph and looks good. Asif and Nidheesh have been picked up by Mumbai Indians for the Indian Premier League,” Kerala bowling coach Youhanan told Sportstar.

“All these guys, except Abhishek, have made their debut in different tournaments this season. Abhishek has come back after three-four years but shows a lot of promise. They are young and can go a long way.

“Even Akshay (who has taken seven wickets so far in three matches), coming in as a replacement for our main spinner K. Monish, has done well and grabbed the opportunity.”

The Whatmore effect

Youhanan said he enjoyed carrying out Kerala cricket's mission of guiding the young pacers. “We want to groom them so that they can be good assets for Indian cricket. Whether it's technical, mental or strategy side of the game, we are not forcing things on them. We give them suggestions and seek their feedback about a certain issue. They take the decision.

“We have learnt this from our head-coach Dav Whatmore. If the boys are encouraged to take their own decisions, they can handle things on their own even when they are alone,” said Youhanan ahead of Kerala's next match against Delhi at the HPCA Stadium here on Tuesday.

Delhi to ride on winning momentum

Delhi, riding on the all-round capabilities of the team, is looking forward to another winning show. “We draw our strength from the consistency that each member has managed. Our fast bowlers (Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya and Pradeep Sangwan) are well-equipped and bowl at 140-145. Subodh (Bhati) chipped in nicely in the last match. The batsmen too have performed their roles to perfection,” said Delhi coach K.P. Bhaskar.

Rain may impact the Delhi-Kerala match even though the HPCA boasts of a sound drainage system. Kerala has six points from a victory, a loss and a tied match, while Delhi is sitting comfortably at the top of the table with 16 points from four successive wins.

Delhi has consistently put up dominating performances in all three departments of the game and will be keen to maintain its unbeaten record and secure a place in the quarterfinals.