New Delhi. Krishnappa Gowtham was called by teammates in his early days of cricket as ‘Bhajji (nickname of Harbhajan Singh)’ but this all-rounder invented the ‘carrom ball’ in his own way. Ravichandran Ashwin’s influence shows more in his bowling. Gautam is one of the six new players selected for the tour of the limited overs series against Sri Lanka. On this tour, from July 13 to July 25, the Indian team has to play a series of three ODIs and as many T20 matches.
When Gautam was asked about his selection in the Indian team, he said, “The dream you dream of over the years, when it comes true, then you are the happiest.” One of the consistent performers for Karnataka in domestic cricket. Gautam came into limelight in the Indian Premier League auction this year. Chennai Super Kings had made a big bid for this 32-year-old player. Gautam said, ‘In the beginning of my career, I used to imitate Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh) and my teammates used to call me Bhajji. When asked about bowling ‘second ball’ like Bhajji, he said, ‘No, I don’t throw ‘doosra’ but ‘carrom ball’.
Developed his own carrom ball – Gautam
The player, who took 166 in the first class, 70 in List A and 42 in T20, was asked if he learned to bowl carrom by watching Ashwin, he said, ‘I have developed it on my own. If you want to play at the top level, you need to develop skills on your own. In my junior days, I was also coached by Erapalli Prasanna sir. I like Ashwin’s mindset and approach towards the game.Gautam learned a lot from Dhoni
In the IPL, the Chennai team had bid Rs 9.25 crore for Gautam but due to the presence of Moeen Ali in the team, he did not get a chance. He said, ‘There is no pressure on me in IPL. In tournaments like IPL, you have to support yourself without worrying too much about the match. You don’t enter the match because of your auction price.’ Asked about the advice he got from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he said, ‘Mahi bhai’s most important suggestion is to enjoy the present moment. Support your natural game and play the way you know best.
However, Gautam has been associated with the national team before. On England’s last tour of India, he was included in the squad as a net bowler during the Test series. “It is always good to bowl to the best players in the country and you get to learn a lot. Obviously it was a great experience bowling to the great players of the Indian team.
Work will be easier in Dravid’s presence: Gautam
Gautam, who took 12 five-wicket hauls in first-class cricket, is known for his batting. He has scored 141 runs in the 50-over format and 160 in T20Is. National Cricket Academy director Rahul Dravid is likely to tour India as the team’s head coach in this limited-overs series. Gautam said that his presence will definitely make his job easier. “If you have played India A, you know how Rahul sir is as a coach and what he will expect from you as a player. When you have played under his supervision before, it gives you a better chance to prepare well for that tour. It will be a wonderful learning experience. ‘