Kousik believes he can make a comeback

Kousik finds himself in the cold even as Tamil Nadu gets ready to host the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament beginning here on Sunday.

J Kousik

A cricketer with genuine talent, Kousik has been given a raw deal.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Last season was a triumphant one for Jagatheesan Kousik. After all, he was adjudged the ‘State cricketer of the year.’ And the player walked up proudly to receive the award. That seems a long time ago. Now, Kousik finds himself in the cold even as Tamil Nadu gets ready to host the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament beginning here on Sunday.

Kousik, a strokeful batsman, a seamer with control, and a brilliant fielder, would have been ideally suited for the shortest format.

Actually, the turn of events in the 21-year-old all-rounder’s career appears rather bizarre. In his last Ranji Trophy game, Kousik did make an impact.

When Tamil Nadu pressed for a come-from-behind victory against Railways at Bilaspur, he sent down a telling spell of 17-11-17-2 in the decisive second innings. Both his victims were top-order batsmen and Kousik actually broke a stubborn 108-run opening partnership.

After that, Kousik did not get a game. And he was subsequently dropped from the squad.

Somebody who was named the best cricketer in the State the previous season surely deserved a decent run. Particularly since some out-of-form players were persisted with.

The only backing Kousik has is his ability. A cricketer with genuine talent, he has been given a raw deal.

Kousik did not want to comment on his omission, but told Sportstar, “It is a learning experience. I had a very good first season. I know that I have to work harder.”

Among the probables in the team for the Mushtaq Ali competition, Kousik eventually found his name missing from the squad. “These are times when I need to believe in myself. It is disappointing. I have taken it in my stride. I wish the team the best of luck,” he said.

It is true that Kousik was not at his best for Ruby Kanchi Warriors in the TNPL. That, however, was a time he was grappling with a groin injury. By the time, the Ranji season started, he had completely recovered.

A senior former State cricketer, who did not want to be named, said, “What has happened to Kousik is unfair. Even if the compulsions of finding the right balance kept him out of the eleven, he should have been persisted with in the squad. The decision to drop him could damage his confidence.”

The feisty Kousik believes he can come back. After all, he is called ‘Puli’ (Tiger) by his teammates for his spirit and fight.

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