Fit Nagarkoti eyes good show in Emerging Asia Cup
JAIPUR: Just when he had started to advertise to the world his talent, Kamlesh Nagarkoti's world fell apart when he suffered a debilitating back injury, leading to the downturn in his cricketing fortunes.
"When he got injured in April last year, he called me. He was crying and was completely confused. He told me that his legs had gone numb. The following week was difficult as Kamlesh was extremely disheartened. He was dreaming of playing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL when he suffered the injury," said Nagarkoti's coach Surendra Rathore, who trains him at the Sanskar Cricket Academy here.
The fast bowler, who became the toast of the town during the ICC Under-19 World Cup last year and impressed the legends of the game with his ability to bowl consistently above 140kmph, is back in the fray after a 19-month injury layoff and is gearing up for the Emerging Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh from November 15 to 23.
"I am fully fit now and desperate to get back to doing what I do best, which is bowling fast." said Nagarkoti, who has to report in Bengaluru on Wednesday before boarding the flight to Bangladesh. He will start off from where he had left, said Rathore, adding that the 19-year-old has been advised not to cut down on his pace. "Nagarkoti is synonymous with speed, so I haven't asked him to cut down on that. His action is perfect and he will bowl with the same intensity and consistency," the proud coach said.
While he was recuperating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, it was Rahul Dravid's words that calmed him down. "Rahul sir explained to me how injuries are a part and parcel of any sport and till the time I continue to put in hard work in getting better every single day, no one can stop me from becoming a big player," Nagarkoti said. The constant support from home was also a huge help. Rathore had advised his family to refrain from speaking about the injury. "I told them to ensure they talk about positive things with Kamlesh," Rathore said.
Talking about the changes the rookie has made to his action, Rathore said, "There are no major changes that would affect his bowling. His action was getting a bit misaligned so we got that corrected. His landing foot was slightly across and his non-bowling arm was coming from inside. We worked on those."
The right-arm pacer who is the first bowler from Rajasthan to grab a hat-trick in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, will also be available for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season beginning December.
Even before Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed became a part of the larger picture, it was Nagarkoti who showed promise of making it big and spurred hopes of Rajasthan's revival. The pace sensation has now matured both as a person and a player. He feels he has not lost anything-be it time or passion-and can cross any hurdle to be there in India colours.