Running over the list of Indian fast bowlers, we had some of the finest disciplined swing bowlers but cricketers and experts of the game have always criticized their ability to bowl raw pace. Even Zaheer Khan, one of the top bowlers of his era commented that Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast. Only a few players emerged as deadly pacers from India like Varun Aaron but couldn’t sustain for long due to frequent injuries and inconsistent form. Contradicting all these facts and assumptions, two young Indian fast bowlers featured in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup caused havoc and fear in batsmen, persistently bowling above 140 clicks. The Caribbean legend and commentator Ian Bishop heaped praise on Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. He was slightly more impressed with the latter, the boy from Rajasthan who even crossed the 145 kmph limit on certain occasions. This is the story of the sensational, Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
About Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Kamlesh Lachham Nagarkoti
Date of Birth
28th December, 1999
First Hattrick for Rajasthan in List A cricket
Rs. 20 crores to Rs. 30 crores.
Father: Lachham Singh Nagarkoti.
Right arm fast
Teams Played for
India U19, Rajasthan, India U23, Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR vs SRH, September 26, 2020
Sanskar School, Jaipur
Kamlesh Nagarkoti early life
Coach Surendra Rathore was the first to discover young Nagarkoti playing at a local ground in Jaipur. Impressed by his fielding skills at a very young age, the coach asked his elder brother to sign him up in the Sanskar Cricket Academy in Jaipur.
His father, Lachham Singh Nagarkoti was a retired army official and was more than happy to support Kamlesh to train as a cricketer. He bought a single-bedroom stay for Kamlesh with his retirement savings at Jaipur to make practice comfortable. Being comparatively taller than kids of his age, Kamlesh was able to generate good pace and natural swing. With expert training, he mastered clinical in-swingers and reverse-swinging deliveries. His performances in academy cricket matches were remarkable which made him a top contender to be in Rajasthan’s Under-14 squad. But when the squad was announced, Kamlesh missed out. The young boy felt downcast but he didn’t fail to try again.
Hard work and determination reshaped Kamlesh, an improved version of himself with an updated skill set. This time, there was no stopping him. He got into the U-14 squad and continued his run to U-16 and U-19 squads. In the 2016-17 season of the Vijay Hazare trophy, he made his List A debut for Rajasthan. An unbeaten 50 in the very second match extended his role at the team as a handy batsman at the tail-end. Against Gujarat, he broke a minor record of being the first player for Rajasthan to take a hattrick in list A cricket. Kamlesh’s breakout series was the U-19 tour to England representing India, where he finished with most wickets of 14 in just two tests. A good run in the U23 Asia Cup campaign ensured his ticket to New Zealand for the Under-19 World Cup.
U-19 World Cup, as smooth as you like
The 2018 U-19 World Cup is nothing but total dominance from India. Leave alone other teams’ chances, no one came close to winning against India. The whole team destroyed each of them one by one and Kamlesh Nagarkoti was instrumental in all those victories. His start at the tournament called for massive attention, taking three wickets conceding only 29 runs in seven overs against Australia. In this match, he bowled above 145 kmph which was too much for the young Australians, and needless to say, Indian cricket welcomed their future with both hands. The Mavi-Nagarkoti duo caused batting collapse at the top of the order for almost every opponent they played against. At the end of the tournament, Nagarkoti scalped nine wickets from six matches with an outstanding economy rate of 3.48. Former international cricketers applauded the talent and some even predicted that he might become the greatest fast bowler for India. Coach Rahul Dravid showed special interest and commitment towards Nagarkoti and stood with him during the injury phase before the World Cup.
Nagarkoti IPL and injuries
The 2018 IPL auction was conducted in between the Under-19 World Cup and Kamlesh Nagarkoti was so anxious that he spent the whole day in the washroom. Everyone knew he was a hot pick, especially after that first match against Australia, which was nothing but a statement. He wanted to play for his home side Rajasthan Royals but was sold to KKR for 3.2 crores.
IPL has a dark history of high potential young players being dragged down to darkness because of the pressure factor. For that very reason, every young talent stepping foot in the IPL is under the radar and Kamlesh was no different. But fate was against him. A lower back injury and a fractured foot ruled him out, not only from the IPL season but for 15 long months. Staying away from cricket for such a long gap is detrimental to any player having a good run. And obviously, people might see him as another fast bowler whose career would be wasted due to an injury-prone body. Still, KKR opted to keep him for 2 seasons knowing what an asset he would become for the franchise. After missing the 2019 IPL season as well, Nagarkoti returned from injury and made his much-awaited IPL debut against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2020. So far, he played 11 IPL matches out of which he took 5 wickets. Kamlesh Nagarkoti is yet to prove his real talent in IPL but even after the long-term injury, he provides great hope for KKR and for the future of Indian cricket.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti stats
kamlesh nagarkoti social media
You have two choices me or selfie?? DECIDE! pic.twitter.com/h5qN2po00O
— Kamlesh nagarkoti (@Kamleshnagark13) July 7, 2021
Don’t like my attitude? Report me at who-cares .!〽️ pic.twitter.com/3JDWVyaISz
— Kamlesh nagarkoti (@Kamleshnagark13) June 10, 2021
Focus on the good.!! pic.twitter.com/DnQPifI8iL
— Kamlesh nagarkoti (@Kamleshnagark13) April 20, 2021