Hyderabad: CTL Rakshann may have been unlucky to miss the bus to the cricket World Cup under-19 tournament that will be held in South Africa in January next year. However, the junior National selection committee picked the young Hyderabad fast bowler to the Indian team that will tour South Africa ahead of the junior mega event.
The Indian under-19 team is scheduled to travel to South Africa for three one-day matches against South Africa followed by a Quadrangular Series featuring South Africa U19, India U19, Zimbabwe U19 and New Zealand U19. ”It is a big opportunity to play for India in South Africa although I think I missed the World Cup bus very narrowly,’’ said Rakshann.
Showing interest in cricket from a young age, his father Tirupathi Reddy, who is a farmer in Sadasivapet, joined his son in the SL Venkatapathy Raju Academy. But he made a mark as a fast bowler when he joined the St Andrews School and St John’s Academy. “I was fascinated by fast bowling from a young age. I always liked the way Glenn McGrath bowled. He was aggressive and a wicket-taking bowler,’’ said Rakshann.
Encouraged by Anil Mittal, Appa Rao and Srinivas at the academy, Rakshann said although he did not play for State under-14 team, he found a place in under-16 team and after some good performances he was selected for the State under-19 teams. ”I took wickets regularly for Bhavan’s College where MV Rao sir was a constant source of inspiration.’’
This year the turning point for Rakshann came in the match against Karnataka at Surat where he returned with figures of 5/19. “My coaches (Anirudh Singh and Alfred Absolom) spoke of the importance of line and length. I was able to take wickets and the match against Karnataka was a big one for me where I could take five wickets,’’ said Rakshann.
This Proteas tour will give Rakshann a chance to bowl on the bouncy wicket of South Africa. “I think I have to bowl at the right areas. I should not be excited with the bounce. I hope to make use of the opportunity,’’ said the fast bowler.
Noel David, the chairman of the Hyderabad junior selection committee, said Rakshann has come a long way. “He is a much improved bowler. He has the pace and height to make good use of the new ball. He has a good rhythmic action. This South Africa tour will do a world for him,’’ he said.
Indian squads: U-19 World Cup: Priyam Garg (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyaansh Saxena, Dhruv Chand Jurel (vice-captain & wk), Shashwat Rawat, Divyansh Joshi, Shubhang Hegde, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra (wk), Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil.
Team for South Africa tour: Priyam Garg (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyaansh Saxena, Dhruv Chand Jurel (vice-captain & wk), Shashwat Rawat, Divyansh Joshi, Shubhang Hegde, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra (wk), Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil, CTL Rakshann.