After an impressive season for Gujarat Lions in the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League, seamer Basil Thampi is all set to turn out for India ‘A’ during their tour of South Africa in July this year. Thampi, who sets short goals for himself, says it is a dream come true after he was included in India’s 16-man squad for the tri-series against South Africa and Australia A teams. “It is a dream come true for me and I am short of words to express how happy I have been since morning,” Thampi said in an exclusive interaction with BCCI.
Despite Gujarat Lions’ poor campaign in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, Thampi was the second highest wicket-taker for his franchise. However, he says he was not expecting his maiden call-up but it was in his goal list. “Actually not! To be very honest, I am somebody who sets short goals for myself and then I try and work towards it. For instance, when I started playing cricket, I had set a goal to play in the Ranji Trophy and then I worked towards achieving it. Similarly, I played for IPL and India ‘A’ was the next goal that I had set for myself.”
With India A set to play five ODI matches before they play two four-day Test matches against the hosts, Thampi revealed that there is a sign of excitement among his friends and relatives too. “My phone has been buzzing non-stop since morning with my family, friends and relatives calling in to congratulate me and send in their best wishes.”
Basil is currently training at the NCA and feels that it was that short conversation with former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar that has motivated him to work towards his goal.
“It was a moment for me to cherish as Sachin (Tendulkar) paaji called me and told me that he was following all my matches closely and how he thinks that I would play for the country one day. That conversation has had a lot of impact on me as each day I go into my training, more motivated and energised thinking that I need to live up to the Master’s expectations.”
‘Excited’ Thampi, who is a bit more aggressive on the ground, is looking to carry his IPL performance into the India ‘A’ tour and wants to give his best to make an impact.
“My biggest takeaway from IPL has been the confidence that I have gained. I bowled to some world class hitters of the game and looked to contain them. Also, I learnt a lot in terms of expressing myself – on and off the field, how to react under pressure situations and be a bit more aggressive on the ground,” Thampi said, who is hailed as the next pace bowling sensation from Kerala.
“I definitely look forward to take the IPL confidence into the India ‘A’ tour. IPL gave me the opportunity to perform against the biggest players of the sport and I would love to give in my 100 percent in the upcoming tour to South Africa.”