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Suresh Raina entered my life like a God. He told me ‘I’ll ensure you get chances in future’: SRH’s 21-year-old youngster

IPL 2022: Even off the field, Suresh Raina would never shy away from backing a promising or young talent, an example of which has been shared by Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 21-year-old youngster.

Suresh Raina was the perfect team man. Before Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni, it was Raina who instilled energy into the Indian team by walking up to every bowler after every ball, or motivating the other fielders by throwing himself around in the field. Raina would be ahead in line if the team asked him to do anything. He would bat higher and even roll his arms over whenever the need would arise. Even off the field, Raina would never shy away from backing a promising or young talent, an example of which has been shared by young Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Kartik Tyagi.

Tyagi rose to prominence in the Under-19 World Cup in 2020, where he emerged as India’s leading wicket-taker dismissing 11 batters. The same year, he was picked for ₹20 lakh in the IPL auction and was even named in India squad for the Test series against Australia. However, this rise, as Tyagi points out, wouldn’t have been possible without Raina’s contribution.

“Like I always say one thing, that after Under-16, Suresh Raina entered my life like a god because people started to recognise me when I was selected for Ranji Trophy. When I was 13, I participated in the Under-14 trials and this is where my cricketing journey began. I started playing for the Under-14 team and then Under-16. In the U-16, there was a season where I got 50 wickets in 7 matches. That is where the selectors started noticing that there is a player who has been taking a lot of wickets at the State level. Despite taking plenty of wickets, we reached the finals but lost. It was there that Gyanendra Pandey sir spotted me and he said that he was impressed by my performances and he will promote me going forward,” Tyagi, who was bought for ₹4 crore in this year’s IPL auction by SRH, told the franchise in a video.

“From there I reached the State Ranji Trophy camp. When I arrived, I was just a 16-year-old youngster while the others were established players. Then there was an incident where Suresh Raina had also come. I used to be very silent and was observing everything. He was about to leave after his practice, but I don’t know why he came back to the ground. He then approached me and asked me about what was my role. I told him that I was a bowler and then he gave me a chance to bowl in the nets. He saw my performance and told me that ‘I liked your bowling and I will ensure you get chances in the future.’ Personally, for me, it was a good thing that someone like Suresh Raina noticed my performance.

“I was a little shocked that such a big player has complimented me and for a moment, I thought that he was joking. When he said that I was doing well, I still couldn’t believe that I will get a chance to play in the coming days. After that, it was quite shocking for me that my name was shortlisted in the UP Ranji team. My Ranji career started from there and later I progressed to the Under-19 team and eventually played the Under-19 World Cup.”

Tyagi played 10 matches and grabbed 9 wickets for RR in IPL 2020 and although he turned out for the franchise in just 4 matches the following year, this year promises to be big for the 21-year-old quick. Recently, in a video, South Africa great and SRH bowling coach compared Tyagi to a ‘Ferrari’.

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