A matured Suchith set for a new chapter

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Abhishek Baadkar | Sport  Seam

Bengaluru, September 23: With back-to-back successful seasons with Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians, Suchith Jagadeesha’s career was on the threshold of scaling great heights.

But the arrival of left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya in the Mumbai squad, Suchith’s future hit the rocks. “After playing for Mumbai (Indians) for two years, I didn’t get an IPL contract. Last couple of years have been really hard. Getting through that emotional phase was difficult. But I believe it’s a phase where a cricketer’s character gets its ultimate test. This was a test of patience and how composed I can get to improve my game,” explained Suchith, who is currently in the Karnataka squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Having signed-up by Anil Kumble for Mumbai in 2015, Suchith bagged 10 wickets and played a crucial role.

But cut to present, Suchith has toiled hard on his bowling trying out new variations.  “I worked day in and day out working on my game trying to be a better player than I was. I didn’t think of the past but worked on what I can do best for myself. Worked a lot on my action, added a few variations, perfected my arm-ball and also started bowling carom,” he added.

In the KSCA Group I, I Division, Suchith topped the bowling charts with 42 scalps in 11 matches for champions Vultures Cricket Club. “I bowled around 250 overs in the league. Rahguram Bhat helped me a lot simplifying my game. I strengthened my basics and implemented these variations and KSCA Dr. (Capt.) K. Thimmappiah Memorial cricket tournament this year,” he asserted.

This year has slowly turning out to be a fruitful season for the Mysuru-born Suchith. In the recently concluded seventh edition of Karnataka Premier League, the 24-year-old became the youngest captain in the history of the T20 league. “It was a dream for me to lead the Mysuru Warriors and had always has been on my mind to lead my home side. The team owners, coaches and the management showed a lot of faith in me and handed over the captaincy,” said Suchith. Under his captaincy, Mysuru made the semifinals.

With Karnataka registering two back-to-back losses in the Vijay Hazare, Suchith’s inclusion in the playing XI could bring in an extra all-rounder. “I have evolved as a spinner and matured enough playing all forms of cricket and pressure situations. I was on the bench for right games last year and that phase helped me to be patient. I got an opportunity and picked up a five-wicket haul,” said Suchith, recollecting his match-winning 5/34 against Odisha.

Apart from his bowling prowess, Suchith makes a great fielder, thanks to his father. “Till I was nine, I used to practice gymnastics. And that is giving me good results right now. I’m more flexible and athletic in the field. In any form of cricket, a good fielder adds value to the team.”

He further honed his fielding skills working with Mumbai’s South African Jonty Rhodes, “Jonty Rhodes showed me smart side of fielding. I could figure out various areas that I should work on to improve my fielding.”

The soft-spoken cricketer is a huge fan of Sandalwood stars Sudeep, Puneeth Rajkumar and Golden star Ganesh and he was included in the Ganga Warriors squad as the replacement for Shubang Hegde in the season 2 of the Kannada Chalanachitra Cup. “I was very keen to play KCC since the first season was announced. It’s not just about cricket but unique platform to rub shoulder with film stars. We watch them only on screens but playing cricket with them was another feeling,” concluded Suchith.

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