Radhakrishnan: 'Just being there with Dravid was awesome'

Things have been happening quickly for the 12th standard student from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, S. Radhakrishnan.

S. Radhakrishnan

Radhakrishnan has made an impact all right. The tougher part starts now.   -  Special arrangement

As he walked out to bat, the teenager heard the words “Come on Radha.” They came from no ordinary person.

It was the legendary Rahul Dravid egging S. Radhakrishnan on as he ventured out to the crease during the India-England under-19 one-day match at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

“The words inspired me. Just being there with him [Dravid] was awesome. It was a tricky situation and I am happy I contributed,” said the 17-year-old middle-order batsman. His innings of 65 impressed many, including coach Dravid.

“When I came back, Dravid Sir said, ‘Very well batted, very good for the first match.’ It was a great feeling,” said the Coimbatore lad to Sportstar on Thursday.

Things have been happening quickly for the 12th standard student from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

On Monday evening, he received a call-up from the India under-19 team, flew to Mumbai in time to attend the practice session on Tuesday and turned out for the country the next day. And Radhakrishnan made runs too.

Indeed, the last few days have been both dramatic and eventful for this strokeful batsman. He has also been included in the list of probables for the Tamil Nadu team ahead of the Vijay Hazare one-day competition.

State selection panel chief S. Sharath said, “Radhakrishnan has a cool head and is a stylish batsman. Being with the senior Tamil Nadu cricketers will do his confidence a lot of good.”

The youngster turns out for Globe Trotters in the TNCA first division league. Trotters coach M. Senthilnathan said, “My friend from Coimbatore sent me a video of Radhakrishnan batting. I saw that and immediately decided to call him. He is a very natural, elegant batsman, has time to play his shots.”

Radhakrishnan said, “I played for Globe Trotters against Jolly Rovers this season and made 32. It was a good experience against a tough side.”

The turning point for him came in Tamil Nadu’s under-19 game against Punjab in Chennai. Radhakrishnan made 90 and 133 and impressed junior selection panel chief Venkatesh Prasad.

For someone so young, Radhakrishnan is intelligent, “I am short but this also makes it difficult for the bowlers to find the right length against me.”

He added, “I want to thank my coaches, Guruswamy, Vinod, Prem and Nasser.”

Radhakrishnan has made an impact all right. The tougher part starts now.

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