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Basil Thampi IANS

The Indian cricketing fans were certainly shocked to see the suprise selection of Kerala pacer Basil Thampi for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. Having won the Emerging Player Award in the IPL, Thampi’s rise to national level has been pretty fast. Moreover, it’s not just the fans, but Thampi himself, who was suprised at his national call-up. However, prior to making his national debut, Thampi would be playing for Kerala against Vidrabha in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy quarter-final on December 7, as he aims to lead Kerala into the semi-finals for the first time. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2017-18, 3rd Test at Delhi

On his national call-up

“I am feeling very proud and happy. But, I was surprised to learn from KCA secretary Jayesh George that I had been selected for the Indian team. It is a great moment as it has always been my dream to don the national colours. In the past one year, I have become a more confident bowler and I’m hopeful of doing well for India against Sri Lanka,” said Thampi, as reported by PTI.

On contributions from Glenn McGrath

“He [McGrath] advised me not to lose pace while bowling and I have kept that in mind. I have also gained a lot by interacting with him and Senthil Sir [M Senthilnathan, head coach the Pace Foundation]. They have motivated me a lot and given me a lot of confidence.”

Glenn McGrath heaps praises on Basil Thampi
Glenn McGrath heaps praises on Basil Thampi

On the turning point of his career

“The IPL this year was a turning point in my career, especially the match against Mumbai Indians. In my last two overs I bowled something like 10 yorkers to batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. This got me noticed. I want to bowl and M S Dhoni to keep. It has been a long-time dream of mine.”

Kerala bowling coach Tinu Yohannan too was amused by Thampi’s selection as he said, “Really proud moment for us in the Kerala team and Kerala cricket. His consistent performances from last year’s Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy has earned him a call now. He is in really good shape and perfectly ready for the opportunity. Thampi has been consistent in all the opportunities he has got after being the ‘Emerging Player’ in the IPL.”

Kerala coach Dav Whatmore too said: “Very happy for Basil. He’s got great potential and in time I feel will play in other formats.”

MRF Pace Foundation head coach Senthilnathan said: It is a great moment for us [at MRF Pace Foundation]. Thampi has put in a lot of hard work and learnt from McGrath. He has to continue the good work and make it in the other formats too. He has a very good yorker and it can be useful at the highest level. Hope he can do well.”