Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier joins KKR

The 27-year-old Warrier was picked on the back of impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

Kerala bowler Sandeep Warrier in action against Punjab in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season.   -  FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR

 

Fortune seems to be finally swinging in Sandeep Warrier's favour. The Kerala swing bowler was on Wednesday signed up by Kolkata Knight Riders, just 10 days before the start of IPL 2019. “I wasn't expecting to be picked by an IPL side so late,” Warrier told Sportstar over the phone from Kolkata, shortly after his maiden practise session with the team.

“Even when I was asked on Tuesday to reach Kolkata, I thought they would probably try me in the nets. I was surprised to learn that they had already selected me.”

The fact that the 27-year-old wasn't selected during the auction was a surprise. He had an excellent Ranji Trophy season, in which he took 44 wickets to power Kerala to a historic semifinal spot in the competition.

He had followed it up with another fine show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. He had taken a hat-trick against Andhra.

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But, unfortunately for him, the T20 tourney — which used to be held before the IPL auction, and thus served the purpose of selection trials — was staged at the very end of the season. The players had been bought and sold for the new IPL season.

“Yes, I was disappointed that I wasn't picked by any IPL team,” he admitted. “Since I had done so well this season, I was hopeful that I might interest some team.”

His Kochi-based coach K. Ram Mohan said that Warrier had to go through tough phases over the last three years. “I was desperately hoping that he would get an opportunity to prove himself in the IPL,” he said. “I am so glad that his hard work has finally been rewarded.”

And it is at the right time that Warrier has got the call from KKR.

“Yes, it is important that a bowler has to get a break when he is bowling well. I feel I have become a better bowler this season,” said Warrier.

Given the kind of form he has displayed, he is likely to be featured in the KKR attack at some point this IPL. He was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore for three seasons without a game.

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