Indian selectors on Monday included some new faces when they announced the T20I squad for Sri Lanka series. Fast bowler Basil Thamppi, all-rounder Washington Sundar and Deepak Hooda were included in the squad while Jaydev Unadkat made a return to the side. Talking to PTI, Thampi said that it has been a dream come true for the 24-year-old.
“I am feeling very proud and happy. But, I was surprised to learn from KCA secretary Jayesh George that I had been selected for the Indian team. It is a great moment as it has always been my dream to don the national colours,” Thampi told PTI.
“In the past one year, I have become a more confident bowler and I’m hopeful of doing well for India against Sri Lanka,” said Thampi.
Thampi credited Glenn McGrath for for his bowling speed. “He (McGrath) advised me not to lose pace while bowling and I have kept that in mind. I have also gained a lot by interacting with him and Senthil Sir (M Senthilnathan, head coach the Pace Foundation). They have motivated me a lot and given me a lot of confidence,” Thampi said.
The right-hand bowler left a mark in this year’s IPL and produced decent performances while playing for India ‘A’ side.
“The IPL this year was a turning point in my career, especially the match against Mumbai Indians. In my last two overs I bowled something like 10 yorkers to batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. This got me noticed,” he said.
Revealing one of his desires, the Kerala bowler said that he wants MS Dhoni to keep wickets while he’s bowling. “I want to bowl and MS Dhoni to keep. It has been a long-time dream of mine,” he added.
Former India bowler and Kerala bowling coach Tinu Yohannan expressed delight on Thampi’s India call-up. Yohannan credited Thampi’s consistent performance for his India selection
“Really proud moment for us in the Kerala team and Kerala cricket. His consistent performances from last year’s Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy has earned him a call now,” Yohannan said.
“He is in really good shape and perfectly ready for the opportunity,” the player-turned-coach, who featured in three Tests and three ODIs for India, said.
“Thampi has been consistent in all the opportunities he has got after being the ‘Emerging Player’ in the IPL,” he added.
Kerala’s Dav Whatmore hailed Thampi’s bowling abilities and went on to say that the fast bowler consists “great potential” and has the capability of playing all three formats. “Very happy for Basil. He’s got great potential and in time I feel will play in other formats,” he said.