Kamlesh Nagarkoti: Indian Cricket And KKR’s Pat Cummins 2.0?

KKR and India's Kamlesh Nagarkoti could become similar to Australia's Pat Cummins

The uncanny resemblance in the story of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Pat Cummins

‘A young fragile boy, talented way beyond his age and astonishingly quick, but never fit enough to make an impact’. For Australian cricket fans, it would remind them of a young Pat Cummins, whereas for Indians, it would remind them of their 2018 Under-19 World Cup star Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

“@BCCI keep an eye on two under 19 quicks. Mavi and Nagarkoti… bowling at 145 in New Zealand…brilliant.”-tweeted former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, after he saw Kamlesh Nagarkoti bowl in the Under-19 World Cup in 2018. Such was the brute pace at which he was bowling. Clocking consistently above 145+ and occasionally bowling above 150kmph, he quickly gained everybody’s attention in the Under-19 World Cup.

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“I salivate when I see bowlers like him, so impressive” commented West Indian fast bowling legend, Ian Bishop, during the U-19 World Cup. “But I do hope coaches have a watch over him, that action concerns me”, added him without knowing the turn of events that would later take place in Nagarkoti’s career.

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Frenetic Fast Forward

Kamlesh Nagarkoti won the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2018
TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 16: Captain Prithvi Shaw and Kamlesh Nagarkoti of India shake hands at the conclusion of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup match between India and Papua New Guinea at Bay Oval on January 16, 2018 in Tauranga, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The immense success of the Under-19 World Cup was quickly followed by a lucrative IPL deal. At the age of 18, he earned his first IPL deal. He was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping 3.2 Crores ahead of the 2018 season. But the dream was short-lived, a fractured foot meant that he was to miss his maiden IPL.

To make things even worse, he picked up a back injury after recovering from the fractured foot and it took 19 more months of his cricketing career. His U-19 teammates like Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw were making waves in the IPL. But, he was nursing his injury in the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Pat Cummins- Journey from a young fragile boy to world’s number one test bowler

One person in the cricketing world who could easily relate to Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s story is World number one Test bowler Pat Cummins. He broke into the national side at a very tender age of 18. Right from his first appearance in a competitive cricket match, he started creating buzz around the Australian cricket community. He was soon considered to a kid who had all those abilities to be on par with the former Aussie quicks.

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 21: Man of the Match Pat Cummins of Australia receives his trophy and cheque during day five of the 2nd Test match between South Africa and Australia, at Wanderers on November 21, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

He became the youngest ever to earn a central contract for Australia. Such was the confidence the selectors had in him. He then went onto wear the prestigious baggy green cap and represented Australia in the Test series against South Africa. He earned the Man of the Match award in his very first Test match, without knowing that he would have to wait for 6 more years to wear the baggy green again.

Pat Cummins and his struggle with injuries

It all started with a bruised heel, which happened right after the South Africa series. It was followed by a side strain in June 2012. And right when he thought he was ready to hit the ground again, a back stress fracture struck him in November 2012. The stress fracture went onto disturb him for a couple of years more. It thereby forced him to wait longer for his return to international cricket.

Also Read – Kamlesh Nagarkoti Must Learn From Pat Cummins

And when he returned to the longer format after a gap of six long years, he was a completely different bowler. His rise from there onto becoming the number one Test bowler is an inspirational story for all young fast bowlers around the world. He remodeled his action under the guidance of legendary pacer Dennis Lillee. Kamlesh Nagarkoti would be happy if he could remodel his similarly, perhaps, to Pat Cummins.

The new action made it possible for him to absorb the impact force when he landed on his back foot. Dennis Lillee was also someone who remodeled his action after a string of back injuries. And he was someone Pat Cummins could relate to and use as an inspiration.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 07: Pat Cummins of Australia celebrates bowling Joe Root of England during day four of the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford on September 7, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

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Kamlesh Nagarkoti would perhaps be very happy if Pat Cummins passes on his knowledge accumulated from Dennis Lilee, when they both meet in the KKR camp during the IPL 2020. The duo have a canny resemblance.

Eagerly waiting to learn from Pat Cummins on injury management, says Kamlesh Nagarkoti

This inspirational story of Pat Cummins was the one that India’s Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid used to motivate Kamlesh Nagarkoti. He was quite low on confidence, after missing the IPL for two consecutive years. Kamlesh Nagarkoti himself in his latest interview with KKR revealed that he is eagerly waiting to interact with Pat Cummins once they meet for the first time in the KKR camp.

Of course, he had injuries for a long time. So, I would want to ask him what mindset he had had during those 3-4 years, how he kept himself motivated, and how he prepared himself for the comeback,” Kamlesh Nagarkoti said.

Pat Cummins has become a sought after asset in T20 Cricket
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 05: Pat Cummins of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan during game two of the International Twenty20 series between Australia and Pakistan at Manuka Oval on November 05, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Pat Cummins was signed up for KKR for 15.5 Crores during this year’s auction. This means that both of them will be in action together in this year’s IPL. They are most likely to share the new ball from either end. An exciting duo indeed.

Read – Injury Plagued Kamlesh Nagarkoti Seeks Pat Cummins Help.

The KKR management had kept their trust in Nagarkoti for these two years, despite failing to remain fit. He will be therefore hoping to repay those trust with impressive on-field performances under the guidance of Pat Cummins.

And you never know, maybe Kamlesh Nagarkoti could very well go onto become India’s Pat Cummins in the long run.

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