Krishnappa Gowtham was flanked by fans for close to half-an-hour after his record-breaking performance in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday, but the man of the hour remained stoic in the face of such hoopla.
Gowtham scored a tournament-high 134 not out and picked up a remarkable eight wickets to power Ballari Tuskers to a 70-run win after posting a season-high 203 for 3 in 17 overs. Shivamogga Lions crumbled for a measly 133 all out in 16.3 overs. “It was just one of those when you’re in the zone and everything comes off,” said Gowtham after the match. “I really can’t say much more about it. It’s just one of those days.”
Gowtham’s day began with a promotion to No.3 in the line-up and he nearly mucked up the chance, save for a dropped catch by Arjun Hoysala when the batsman was on 17. He was put down thrice thereafter.
“I didn’t think too much about that (dropped chances). If I did, I don’t think I would have approached the innings the way I did. The plan, from the start of the day, was to go after the bowling. I didn’t change that till the last ball was bowled. After striking a few early on, I was just backing myself. Honestly, I was just trying to do my best and help the team reach a big total.”
Gowtham’s technical changes, at least with the bat, didn’t come through in his earlier games with scores of 11, 2 and 6, but it all came together on the day. “In a T20, the more you’re ready and the more your head is still, the better your chances of getting power behind your shots, and it also helps you get your body weight to go forward. These things I have been working on,” he explained.
“With bowling, I have been working on a few variations, nothing too complicated. It’s just about bowling it in the right slots repeatedly. Once again, it is just one of those days when everything comes together.”
When asked if the numbers have sunk in yet, Gowtham said: “I am on top of the world but I definitely want to be grounded in phases like these. I know that the coming games will be more taxing and you’ll have to come up with good shows again. It’s certainly not about one day and one show.”
Before coming into this edition of the KPL, Gowtham was in fine fettle for the India A side against West Indies A in the Caribbean. Although he didn’t contribute much with the bat, he picked up eleven wickets in two games, including two fifers. “I am not thinking that far ahead,” he said in response to if this performance put him in better stead in the future. “Those things are not in my control. I am not too worried about the selection process. It’s left to the selectors and if there is a requirement in the team.”
(Input from agencies)