Impressed with his accuracy and ability to extract bounce even on the dullest surfaces, Bengal coach Arun Lal has heaped special praise on young fast bowler Ishan Porel. The pacer has made rapid strides in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season seems ready for the big lead, assessed Lal. He went on to further make a big claim that the talented Porel can even trouble India captain Virat Kohli in the current form.

The 21-year-old hogged limelight recently when he bowled a splendid spell for Bengal in the first innings of the ongoing semifinal against Karnataka at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Porel was at his fiery best on Monday as he caught India regular KL Rahul plumb with a sharp inswinger to leave Karnataka reeling at 98/3 in the Ranji semifinal.

“He’s in great form at the moment. He’s bowling deliveries that can get big batsmen out, like a KL Rahul, or a Virat Kohli. He’s bowling that kind of bowling,” Lal told reporters after day three of their Ranji semifinals.

“He’s bowling it in that channel. You won’t see him bowling one outside leg stump. He’s testing you all the time. He doesn’t give too many runs that’s another pressure. KL Rahul is at the peak of his ability at the moment. You watch him scoring runs, he’s magnificent, terrific. It’s a great achievement to get him out cheaply.”

Lal went on to remember his 4/50 against Andhra in the league stage in which he dismissed another India player Hanuma Vihari for 23. “He got Hanuma out with the delivery that rose up from length. I think he’s ready, to me he’s almost there,” he said.

Fresh from India A’s tour to New Zealand, Porel was the wrecker-in-chief with his 5/39 as Karnataka folded for 122 in their first innings. “I know he has the ability to get the big batsmen out. We are giving him the leeway and rope to go flat out, bowl five-six overs at a stretch.”

The lanky pacer, who was injury-prone earlier, has worked on his fitness as he’s extracting pace and bounce to intimidate the batsmen at ease. Lal said it’s time that the Kings XI Punjab recruit translates his red-ball performance into the white-ball cricket with IPL set to begin soon.

“Playing IPL gives you huge experience, mental makeup and confidence. If you get International batsmen out, win match it’s huge and adds another dimension to you. The world today demands that you play all formats.

“If I’m a cricketer today, I would like to play all three formats. I would like to be good enough in all three formats. He needs to do that as well.”

Lal feels the key for the tall pacer would be to use his high arm action to advantage and develop slower ones and yorker and then he could be an asset to the side.

“He needs to get the slower ones, the yorker like anybody else in the country. I think he can do it. He has the height. He’s got a very high-arm delivery. He’s not a round arm action.

“His yorkers are pretty lethal once he starts getting it. I think he will be an asset in white-ball cricket as well if not now maybe a year down the line,” Lal signed off.

(With PTI Inputs)