India U19 player Naman Tiwari wants to bowl the fastest ball in the world by drawing inspiration watching videos of former greats and following the advice of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. Left-arm pacer Naman, 18, who is grabbing headlines in the ongoing U19 World Cup here, has found the tips he received from Bumrah at the NCA working magic, and is now looking forward to the title clash against Australia on Sunday. Lucknow boy Naman has troubled rival batters with his yorkers and speed, grabbing 10 wickets so far, with a four-wicket haul against Ireland.
“Bumrah is a source of inspiration for us. I watch his bowling videos a lot. I have met him several times at NCA and talked to him a lot about the mentality and skills of a bowler,” Naman told PTI Bhasha on the sidelines of a practice session at Willowmoore Park Stadium here.
“He has explained a lot (of things to me), which is useful. He told me how to bowl accurate yorkers, and I have worked a lot (on that aspect) following his advice. I have to work hard to bring more aggression in this (my bowling),” he said.
“I try to learn something from every bowler I like. I try to understand and learn by watching his (Bumrah’s )videos. I like Shoaib Akhtar’s speed, Dale Steyn’s swing and Mitchell Starc’s aggression very much,” he said.
Naman originally wanted to become a batter but fewer opportunities turned him to bowling.
“I started playing cricket as a batsman but I was not getting many chances. That’s why I started bowling at an academy in Lucknow. Since I am left-handed, I became a left-arm fast bowler,” he said.
Naman’s father is an LIC agent and the pressure to focus on academics was immense given his middle-class background. But his heart was in cricket.
“Papa always told me to focus on studies. I was in seventh standard and wanted to play cricket. I asked my father to give me three years’ time to prove myself in cricket. My family is very happy with my success today,” said Naman.
“Papa calls me every evening. Seeing them (family) happy makes me feel very good that I did not disappoint them,” he said.
Naman’s aim is to become a lethal fast bowler and play Test cricket for India.
“One day I want to bowl the fastest ball in the world. I also want to play the World Cup with the senior team. But, for now, I have to focus on performance. I want to continuously improve my game because the challenges will be even bigger in the future and I will have to prepare my base to face them,” he said.
Happy with the team’s performance so far in the U19 World Cup, Naman said that it is the result of team effort.
“So far, the performance of all the players has been very good. Especially in the semifinals against South Africa, we showed tremendous spirit. I am very happy with the way we are playing and will try to maintain this momentum in the final also,” he said.
“Although I like all formats, I find Test cricket the most challenging. That’s where the real test of a bowler lies and I want to become a good Test cricketer in the future,” said the youngster.
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