Kartik Tyagi goes from Team India net bowler to Rajasthan Royals hero in IPL 2021


Uttar Pradesh paceman Kartik Tyagi is just 20 years of age and only has a handful of first-class and T20 games under his belt. However, on Tuesday (September 21) night, Tyagi showed maturity far beyond his age as the Rajasthan Royals paceman managed to defend four runs in the final over against two set Punjab Kings batsmen. It was one of the finest displays of death bowling which drew praise all around.

Tyagi, who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.3 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions, featured in India’s 2020 Under-19 World Cup squad. Born in Hapur, Tyagi made his first-class debut for Uttar Pradesh in 2017-18 season, a month before his 17th birthday. In October 2020, Tyagi was named as one of the four ‘net bowlers’ picked to travel with Team India on their tour of Australia.

The Royals paceman was ecstatic to effect a turnaround in an IPL 2021 match, having seen others do it in the past seasons. Punjab Kings were poised for an easy win as they needed just four runs from the last over but the 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh changed the game with his accurate bowling.

He took two wickets and conceded just one run to script an incredible two-run win for his team. Tyagi, who missed the India leg of the IPL, said, “This feels really good.”

“I have been talking to seniors over the years and they keep telling me that things keep changing in this format, so I need to keep believing,” Tyagi said at the post match press conference.

“I’ve always heard from everyone and also watched games in this format where strange things have happened. Today, I was fortunate to play a big role in something special.”

Asked about his effort, he said, “I was bowling a bit too short earlier, later worked on it consciously after getting a lot of feedback.”

Royals skipper Sanju Samson could not stop smiling after pulling off an incredible win. “It’s funny that we kept believing (that we could win). I kept the overs of Mustafizur and Tyagi for the end, believing. Cricket is a funny game right. We just kept fighting and believing,” he said.

“I always believe in my bowlers, want to keep fighting and that’s why I kept those two overs till the end. To be very honest, to get that score on this wicket, we felt good because we had the bowling.

“If we took the catches, we could have won the game earlier. People have really worked hard on their fitness,” he said.

Punjab skipper KL Rahul was gutted. “This is a tough one to swallow. We need to see how we can handle pressure better. It’s happened to the best in the game. Tough one to swallow that you haven’t learnt from your previous mistakes,” he said, looking dejected.

“We bowled decent lengths in the first six. Unfortunate that edges got it away from us. But we pulled this back nicely with the ball.”

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Sagar Biswas

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