Basil Thampi

Basil Thampi: The Rising ‘Yorker’ Star of Indian Cricket    

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Ranji player Basil Thampi’s performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 has brought him laurels from all quarters. His special skill to bowl yorkers in the death overs is one of the talking points in the IPL. Moreover, he is touted to be among the contenders for the “Rising Player of the IPL 2017”award.

The 23-year-old right arm seamer plays for Gujarat Lions in the IPL. He belongs to the list of bowlers with the most balls bowled in death overs. His figures in death overs: 78 balls with an economy rate of 9.46 and five wickets. Thampi’s performance in the IPL so far is a testimony to his innate talent. He has got eight wickets in nine innings with an economy rate of 8.87 and strike rate of 24.7

In the IPL auction, Ernakulam native Thampi went to Gujarat Lions for Rs 85 lakh from a base price of Rs 10 lakh. A product of the MRF pace foundation, Thampi has a reputation of bowling at 140 kph or more. He claimed eight wickets in five matches for Kerala in the inter-state domestic T20s last month, at economy of 6.22 with best figures of 3 for 19 against Goa.

When the Lions’ key Australian bowler Andrew Tye was injured and ruled out of the IPL 2017 with a dislocated shoulder, Thampi had to shoulder himself the hopes of the franchisee in the T20 tournament.

Speaking about Thampi’s vital role in the team, former Indian all-rounder Sanjay Banger said: “He was thrown in at the deep end because there was no option as Tye was injured. He’s taken that workload pretty well.”

“In the earlier half, whenever he’s under pressure, he was bowling slower balls. But as the tournament progressed, he ensured that he was going back to his yorkers straight up. He had attended one of the camps with the Indian team and he was very impressive,” Banger said.

“He was hitting the deck hard and he did a lot of work in the first class season. It’s difficult to bowl yorkers when the ball is wet because the dew factor comes in pretty much whenever the team is defending targets. Credit to him because he’s executed the difficult skill really well,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Australian pacer Shaun Tait was also impressed with Thampi’s yorker deliveries.

“He has gone back to basics. His teammates McCullum, Finch and Raina must have helped him in performing well. You won’t feel the pressure when you are young. He’s a young guy. So a great pick for the Lions,” Tait commented.