Kartik Tyagi - slowly rising to be the force he promised

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22 Sep 2021 | 10:02 AM
authorBastab K Parida

Kartik Tyagi - slowly rising to be the force he promised

The over on Tuesday will go down in IPL history as one of the best but most importantly, it showed progress

2020 Under-19 World Cup was not about established order dictating terms, it was not an out-of-the-blue phenomenon either. The eventuality of the tournament was all about progression. The rapid progress of Bangladesh from an underwhelming and overambitious cricketing nation to the peak of the junior cricket echelon, the heart-warming story of Yashaswi Jaiswal, the impact of Akbar Ali, and the all-round brilliance of Nyeem Young made for a larger narrative. Despite the huge impact of the Under-19 World Cups in the past, very few things had come together like the 2020 edition, making it one of the dramatic tournaments in recent history.

Despite failing to lift the trophy, India had many positives to cling to. Ravi Bishnoi consistently breached his grade, Jaiswal dominated like he had 100 international matches of experience and Sushant Mishra bowled with an uncanny panache. But Kartik Tyagi emerged as one of the brightest young kids in the country simply with his uncomplicated bowling action and a rhythmic follow through. He constantly added toe-crushing yorkers amid the barrage of good length deliveries to blow away Japan and Pakistan.

Anyone who followed him in the World Cup - not least the trained eyes - could figure out the potential of Tyagi in the long run. His 4 for 24 that helped India U-19 thrash Australia in the semi-final was peak cricket from a talented youngster. But that was just a teaser of bigger things to come in life. 

On Tuesday, the way he finished things off, landing a sucker punch to Punjab Kings in the last over, was a stunning reminder of his immense abilities. It was purely ironic that Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab then) had inflated his price and did everything to secure his services ahead of the 2020 IPL before letting Rajasthan Royals walk away with the bid worth INR 1.3 crore [US$ 182,000 approx.], only to be at the receiving end of such an onslaught.

Last night, Punjab Kings needed eight runs off the final two overs to win a straightforward encounter. Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran had found their feet and it was only a matter of a couple of hits to finish things off in a sweetly silken manner. Punjab Twitter handle had gone crazy and why not? But it was in that moment, Mustafizur Rahman bowled a tidy over to give away only four runs to bring an anti-climatic change. But was that really a change in fortune? Not really. You would still fancy Punjab to wrap this up. However, what transpired was a show of bravery, high skills, and a hell of an over to remember for quite some time.

At the halfway mark in the game, Criclytics Win Projector, Cricket.com’s AI-driven analytics platform, predicted PBKS to win by 3 wickets with a win probability of 56%. 10 Overs into the run-chase, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal further consolidated their position to give Punjab an 86% chance of winning - you’d expect losing is virtually not an option from such a situation.

When Mustafizur took the ball for the penultimate over, no die-hard fan would be betting their money on the Royals to pull off a coup but it seems Royals believed on their death-bowling pair. If not, at least their skipper did. "It's funny that we kept believing (that we could win),” Sanju Samson said. “I kept the overs of Mustafizur and Tyagi for the end, believing. Cricket is a funny game right. We just kept fighting and believing. I always believe in my bowlers, want to keep fighting and that's why I kept those two overs till the end. To be very honest, to get that score on this wicket, we felt good because we had the bowling.”

It translated to one of the finest death bowling performances in living memory. In the final over, despite having massive odds to beat, Tyagi started with a dot and single in the first two balls before sending Nicholas Pooran back to the hut with a fuller ball, slanting across the southpaw. Starting the over with an 11% probability to win, Tyagi suddenly took the numbers to 22% with three balls remaining in the game. Deepak Hooda played a dot ball before being dismissed on a wider length ball outside off to leave Fabian Allen with the task of achieving three runs off the final delivery. It was a show of bravery that ended in the rightful fashion as the game finished in a weirdly incredible way. 

This over will go down in IPL history as one of the best overs but more importantly, it showcased the rapid stride that Tyagi has taken from his junior days to the senior level. If the growth story keeps on mounting, we are on the best seat to witness a giant in the years to come.

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Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan RoyalsIndian Premier League, 2021Rajasthan RoyalsPunjab KingsKartik TyagiKL RahulMustafizur Rahman

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