Porel bagged 6 wickets in World Cup © AFP
Porel bagged 6 wickets in World Cup © AFP

Without a hint of doubt, Ishan Porel made his parents proud with his stupendous performance in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018. Porel, who got injured in the very first match, made a fruitful comeback to the side to bag 6 wickets including a 4-wickets. However, it is not cricket but Kabaddi that Porel started his sporting career with. Porel’s mother and father both have been international level Kabaddi players and inspired their son to take up the same sport. But Porel eventually fell in love with cricket, and changed his career accordingly.

“Initially, I joined swimming, then table tennis and later started playing kabaddi,” Porel told mid-day. “But I didn’t quite enjoy any of these activities. I used to watch cricket on TV from an early age, and one day, I just happened to mention to papa (father) that I would like to go for cricket coaching. He agreed. Not once did he ask me why I was leaving kabaddi. So, that’s how cricket happened,” he added.

Porel also spoke of his injury during the tournament.

“I thought I would not be able to play any further part in the tournament after that [heel injury] because a replacement bowler [Aditya Thakare] had been called and he joined the team too. I was disappointed. It was a very tough phase for me, but thankfully Rahul (Dravid) sir and Dr Anand Date [fitness trainer] supported me wholeheartedly. They first helped me overcome that stress and then slowly but surely worked on healing my injury and got me ready in time for the quarter-final,”he said.

Porel believes in Virat Kohli’s way of approach towards the game — to be aggressive and celebrate every success.

“I strongly believe in celebrating every wicket because, as a fast bowler, I feel aggression is the key. Just as I feel that it’s only fair for me to walk back quietly to my run-up immediately after a batsman has hit me for a boundary, I believe it’s important for me to celebrate a dismissal too,” he said during the interview.

Porel was among the very few in India’s squad who had made his First-Class before World Cup. A regular name in Bengal’s camp now, Porel wants to improve his game in the longest format despite tasting success in limited-overs matches.

“For me, the longer format… Test cricket is most important and I’d like to focus on that. There is a huge difference between the level of first-class cricket and the U-19 World Cup. “Batsmen at first-class level are a lot more consistent. Many of them are playing international cricket so Test cricket is my ultimate goal,” he concluded.