Bumrah’s tips on yorker have helped a lot, says India U-19 seamer Naman Tiwari


India Under-19 seamer Naman Tiwari wants to bowl the fastest ball in the world. The inspiration has come from watching videos of the greats of the game and speaking to Jasprit Bumrah.

Left-arm fast bowler Tiwari, who is grabbing headlines in the ongoing Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, has found the tips he received from Bumrah at the NCA in Bengaluru working magic.

Tiwari, who comes from Lucknow, has troubled batters with his yorkers and speed, grabbing ten wickets from five games so far, including two four-wicket hauls.

“Bumrah is a source of inspiration for us,” Tiwari told PTI Bhasha on the sidelines of a practice session at Willowmoore Park Stadium. “I watch his bowling videos a lot. I have met him several times at the NCA and talked to him a lot about the mentality and skills of a bowler.

“He explained a lot [of things to me], which have been useful. He told me how to bowl accurate yorkers, and I have worked a lot [on that aspect] following his advice. I have to work hard to bring more aggression in my bowling.

“I try to learn something from every bowler I like. I try to understand and learn by watching his [Bumrah’s] videos. I like Shoaib Akhtar’s speed, Dale Steyn’s swing and Mitchell Starc’s aggression very much.”

Tiwari originally wanted to become a batter but fewer opportunities turned him to bowling.

“I started playing cricket as a batsman but I was not getting many chances,” he said. “That’s why I started bowling at an academy in Lucknow. Since I am left-handed, I became a left-arm fast bowler.”

His father is an LIC agent and the pressure to focus on academics was immense given his middle-class background. But his heart was in cricket.

“Papa always told me to focus on my studies. I was in seventh standard and wanted to play cricket. I asked my father to give me three years’ time to prove myself in cricket. My family is very happy with my success today.

“Papa calls me every evening. Seeing them [family] happy makes me feel very good that I did not disappoint them.”

Tiwari’s aim is to become a lethal fast bowler and play Test cricket for India.

“One day I want to bowl the fastest ball in the world. I also want to play the World Cup with the senior team. But, for now, I have to focus on performance. I want to continuously improve my game because the challenges will be even bigger in the future and I will have to prepare my base to face them.

Happy with the team’s performance so far in the Under-19 World Cup, Tiwari said that it was the result of the team effort.

“So far, the performance of all the players has been very good. Especially in the semifinals against South Africa, we showed tremendous spirit. I am very happy with the way we are playing and will try to maintain this momentum in the final also.

“Although I like all formats, I find Test cricket the most challenging. That’s where the real test of a bowler lies and I want to become a good Test cricketer in the future.”

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