Siddharth: spinning a success story for Tamil Nadu


The left-armer turned in a match-winning performance against Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final

CHENNAI Tamil Nadu’s victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final may be totally attributed to M. Siddharth’s first three overs. He had Kedar Devdhar driving straight to Jagadeesan at cover-point, Smit Patel lbw with a zippy arm ball, Abhimanyusingh Rajput caught and bowled, and Kartik Kakade bowled off the inside edge. The last two wickets came in his third over.

The arm-ball was a lot tweeted about and it’s something he said he has practised and arrived at where it is now. The speed — he just darts it in — certainly deceived Smit both in the air and off the pitch. He seemed to bowl from slightly wide of the crease, varying the release by bowling from different points at the crease.

He said ‘crease variation’, as he calls it, is something he does a lot. In fact, he said he worked on it with bowling coach Kyle Mills in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp in IPL 2020. He added that what Mills has taught him has made his bowling more effective. “It is just a small thing. But I felt it would have a big effect on the results. I’ve tried it since and it’s been useful.”

It is at the KKR camp that he and C.V. Varun have gotten very close to each other. “Before that, we just knew each other.” It is from Varun that he’s learnt to bowl the carrom ball, a variation he’s been working on. “Will try to bring it out soon,” he said.

Upset

It is no wonder then that KKR releasing him ahead of the upcoming IPL auction has upset him a bit. “But it’s just part and parcel of playing cricket. I thought I should just put it aside and come back stronger.” This final performance may have been inspired by it.

He said having quite a few Tamil Nadu players — R. Ashwin, T. Natarajan, Washington Sundar and Vijay Shankar — playing at the highest level has definitely given belief to the State’s youngsters. “The TNPL has to be credited. Young players are able to easily better themselves in white-ball cricket because of it.”

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