Vidwath Kaverappa (24) is a stickler for accuracy. He admits that he does “try to base his bowling” on that of Glenn McGrath. And there’s another similarity. Like McGrath, he doesn’t have tearaway pace. He bowls in the early 130s.
“I know that I don’t have the added advantage like Navdeep (Saini) has of that extra pace. So, I know I have to be consistent, that I have to make the batter’s life somehow difficult. I stick to my line and length, that’s what I’m known for even back home in Karnataka,” he says on the second day of the Irani Cup match here on Monday.
But he idolises Dale Steyn. He’s even tried to change his bowling action to “semi-side-on” like Steyn’s. “But it didn’t work for me. So, I stopped it. I’m a proper front-on bowler,” he says.
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There is one thing from Steyn that he’s been trying to incorporate, though.
“I know I have the potential to bowl faster. I’m working on it. It’ll come out slowly. You can’t expect me to jump from 130 to 140 all of a sudden. It’ll come on its own. I’m waiting for it. I know it’ll come someday, and that day is pretty soon!”
The one thing that he most admires in Steyn is his run-up. “His run-up is one of the most beautiful, smooth [and] rhythmical run-ups I’ve ever seen!”
When suggested that he too has a visually pleasing smooth run-up, he says: “I try to base it on his (Steyn’s) run-up. It’s not as smooth as his, but I’m trying to work on it.”
Kaverappa is from Kodagu. He says the place doesn’t see a lot of cricket being played and is better known for hockey. Because of this, he’s indulged in sports like hockey, football, handball, and basketball until class X.
“Just to skip classes and keep up my fitness level,” he says.
But he feels that having played other sports helps him be agile on the cricket field.
“I always had my dream of shifting to Bangalore and pursuing cricket once I finished my 10th. So, that’s what I did.”
Since then, KL Rahul’s childhood coach, Samuel Jayaraj Muthu, has been his coach.
It could be said that Kaverappa has been fast-tracked into the Karnataka State squad.
“I didn’t even know that my name would be called up, I had zero expectations. I had played the u-19 State and everything, and then what happened was, I used to go bowl to the senior team whenever they used to have their nets.
“For me, it was like, I can go over there, learn from them, see where I stand in terms of my skill, what is it that I have to develop so that I can make it to the next level.
“So, I kept bowling over there, kept bowling well and all. And then, all of a sudden, Prasidh (Krishna) was drafted into the Indian team, and they had a vacancy over there. They gave me a call, and I was like, ‘What is happening, I have no idea.’ They just called me, I just went, and I just went with the flow.”
He made his debut for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year. He has won the latest editions of the Duleep Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy with the South Zone team, and on Tuesday he added the Irani Cup title, with the Rest of India team, to that list.
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