K. Gowtham:The more patient you are, the better you can do

Back from his first India 'A' tour, K. Gowtham talks about the experience of playing for the national team, how coach Rahul Dravid helped him and his Rs.7.2 lakh price tag in the upcoming Karnataka Premier League.

K. Gowtham strikes a pose at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

Back after playing a significant role in India A's series-levelling victory over South Africa 'A' in Potchefstroom earlier this month, K. Gowtham is a happy man.

The off-spinner claimed Andile Phehlukwayo's wicket off the first ball on the final morning to pave the way for a six-wicket triumph in the second unofficial Test.

It was my first ‘A’ tour and my first overseas tour,” he said to Sportstar on Monday. “Representing the country in any team is a big thing. The tour has made me realize that the more patient you are, the better you can do. I learnt how to bowl on those slow tracks, with no bounce or turn. Rahul (Dravid) sir asked me to be patient.

I thought, 'Even if the ball is not turning, it doesn't matter. My job is to keep it tight.' If the dot balls I bowled were going to help my partner at the other end get a wicket, I was still happy. The team could bank on me.”

It helped, Gowtham stated, that he was captained by Karnataka team-mate Karun Nair. “The comfort factor was always there but it was not just Karun,” he said. “It was Karun, R. Samarth and Rahul Dravid (coach). It felt like I was playing for Karnataka," he said.

"Rahul sir's way of operating with each individual is different. He does not dictate terms to you but he comes and tells you what best you can do. The amount of experience he has...if I can grasp even 5-10% of that, it will make me much better,” he added.

Gowtham's focus will now shift to the Karnataka Premier League, where Belagavi Panthers needed the auction's highest bid – at ₹7.2 lakh – to acquire his services. “It's great to feel so valued. If they're ready to shell out so much for you then the responsibility increases. But that doesn't mean I won't enjoy what I do,” he said.

That price was perhaps to be expected for a player who was signed for ₹2 crore by Mumbai Indians last year. Gowtham felt he had learnt a great deal from the IPL, although he did not feature in a single game.

It was a huge learning experience and it has made a big difference to me, when it comes to fitness and the mental side of the game,” he said. “Everyone is talented but mentally what you do is what matters. I had conversations with Tendulkar too about it, what he does in a particular situation. If I can implement what I've learnt, it will help me in whatever game I play.”