Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s delivery at 145 kmph, which castled Will Sutherland and left his off-stump in a mess was a sight to behold for Indian fans across the globe. There was a time when cricket-lovers in the country were used to getting excited with anyone who could reach the 140 kmph mark and the term fast-medium was enough to turn heads. But what transpired in the India-Australia U-19 World Cup contest at Bay Oval (New Zealand) on Sunday has made everyone sit up and take notice as the young pair of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagerkoti outpaced their rivals and consistently clocked speeds above 145 kmph. And that is not something one gets to see often.
What was heartening to watch was not only did the Indian youngsters generate raw pace but also maintained the discipline by bowling a consistent line and length against Australia. While Mavi bowled with the new ball, Nagarkoti was particularly impressive when he came in at first-change. In the 15th over the match, Nagarkoti’s talent came into full bloom when he managed to generate some serious pace and bowled a delivery at 146.8 kmph (fastest of the day). Chasing a target of 329, Australia got off to a good start but once again it was Nagarkoti who got the breakthrough for India after dismissing Max Bryant for 29. The Rajasthan-lad returned with figures of 3/29 in his spell of seven overs. Complementing him well was Shivam Mavi who finished with 3/45.
However, this is not the first time that Nagarkoti has shot to the limelight and has been consistently delivering the goods. He became the first Rajasthan bowler to take a List A hattrick. In the same match, he had also hit a quickfire 56 showing his prowess with the bat.
With the unfortunate injury to Ishan Porel, it does seem like Nagarkoti will be spearheading the Indian pace attack in the next game, thus pointing to exciting times. However, what will be crucial is how these youngsters are nurtured from hereon so that they can make a smooth transition to the senior team without losing out on the pace.