Gowtham is among six players selected for India’s white ball tour in Sri Lanka, which comprises three ODIs and three T20 matches between July 13-25.
“You live a dream for years and now it has come true and you couldn’t be happier,” was Gowtham’s first reaction when the PTI caught up with him.
A constant performer for a formidable Karnataka team, Gowtham made headlines when Chennai Super Kings broke the bank to win his services after an intense bidding war and now, at 32, the lanky SUV has landed his first call-up in India.
“At the beginning of my career, I used to imitate Bhajji Paa (Harbhajan Singh) and my teammates called me Bhajji,” Gowtham recalled during the interaction.
So like Bhajji, do you also throw the doosra?
“No, I don’t bowling with doosra, but with the carrot ball,” replied Gowtham, who has 166 first-class pitches, 70 from List A and 42 from T20.
Have you developed the carrom ball by watching its best exponent Ravichandran Ashwin?
“I developed it on my own. If you have to play at the highest level, you need to develop your skills on your own. In my youth, I was trained by Erapalli Prasanna sir too.
“Obviously, you admire a legend like Ashwin. I love Ashwin’s mindset and approach to the game,” replied the reticent cricketer.
Like his teammates from Karnataka, who have gone on to play for India, Gowtham also speaks very clearly despite the fact that his answers are short and precise.
With Moeen Ali starting during CSK’s IPL campaign, Gowtham didn’t get a glimpse, but the pressure of the Rs 9.25 crore offer price never made it unnerving for him.
“I didn’t have any pressure going into the IPL. Of course not. In a tournament like the IPL, you have to stand behind yourself and not worry about the game. You play the game, not the price,” he was blunt in his reply.
From ‘Cool Captain’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the most precious advice he received was “enjoy your game”, something the former India captain tells all of his juniors.
“Mahi bhai had a key piece of advice. You have to be in the present and enjoy the game. He told me to stick to my natural game and to do it the way I know best.”
Gowtham also feels enriched after being part of the Indian senior team during the home series against England earlier this year. He was one of the net launchers during the series of four tests.
“It’s always good to play the best bowling alley in the country and you can learn a lot. Obviously it was a great experience to be in the Indian setup and play the quality players.”
With 12 pitches from five wickets in first-class cricket, plus impressive batting rates of 141 plus (50 plus) and nearly 160 (T20) in the cue ball format, Gowtham’s rise can also be attributed to the fact that plays for one of the best national teams, Karnataka.
“It really helped that he was part of a very strong Karnataka unit. It is not just about the strength, but also the fact that it is a very happy unit.
“We all enjoy each other’s company which I have always looked forward to and it is a privilege,” Gowtham said of the team he has had in recent years. Manish pandey, KL Rahul, Karun Nair and Prasidh Krishna in the national team.
Director of the National Cricket Academy Rahul dravid He is ready to travel with the India white ball team as their head coach and, having played for India A under “The Wall”, Gowtham said his job would certainly be easier with his presence.
“If you have played India A, you know what Rahul sir is like as a coach and what he would expect of you as a player. So that gives you a better chance to prepare well for the tour when you have played with him before. It will be a great experience. learning, “he concluded.