India has managed to reach the U-19 World Cup final once again, and the chief architect of this journey has been fast bowler Kartik Tyagi. He has been picking up wickets upfront that has given the edge to India over it’s opponents. But the speedster’s journey - unsurprisingly - has been full of struggle and injuries.
In an interview with the Times of India, Kartik revealed how he fractured his leg while warming up for UP, and the spate of injuries he sustained after that.
“I fractured my leg while playing football during warm-up on the match day. Then I developed an injury in my pelvic bone," Tyagi told from Potchefstroom.
“We ran from pillar to post for my treatment. We started running out of money. After five months, I asked the UPCA to recommend me to the NCA. It took me another six months to start cricket and by then my father had to sell off all his land," he recalled before promptly adding: “I don’t play football anymore. I stay out of any other sport that team plays during warm-ups."
The youngster looks upto Brett Lee for inspiration, who could swing the ball both ways, that too at considerable speed.
“I was in awe of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s ability to swing it right during his dream spell on debut against Pakistan in 2012. But I love watching Brett Lee’s videos. He had finished playing when I took up cricket but everything is online. I like the way he bowled consistently at that pace and swung it too," Tyagi said.
About Bhuvneshwar Kumar, fascinated with his ability to swing, he went to Meerut, to learn the art of swing bowling from former’s coach Vipin Vats.
Tyagi also remembered, how after performing well at the U-16 level, he was drafted in the UP Ranji side, where he was mentored by Praveen Kumar and Suresh Raina.
“When I did well at the U-16 level, I was sent for a Ranji camp. There, Suresh Raina and PK (Praveen Kumar) bhaiya liked my bowling and decided to play me straightaway," Tyagi recalled.
“PK bhaiya was not supposed to play in that match but he decided to play so that he could guide me. I am so grateful that Raina bhai and PK bhaiya fielded at mid-off and mid-on to mentor me through the match."