True success, they say, is best measured when others bask in the glory of your triumph, instead of you rejoicing in your own success. A game that had so many tense moments and turnarounds as to be featuring in IPL’s best slugfests. To come out of the shadow of other star performers of the match-Jofra Archer, Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham had to do something really special to get on that special list. And boy, he did it when the team needed it the most.
When Krishnappa Gowtham earned his first mega IPL moment
At the conclusion of Rajasthan Royals’ nervy last over victory over Mumbai Indians, you felt the delight in Sanju Samson’s voice when he shared, “Gowtham’s knock was a lifetime experience.” But surprisingly, if you were to read his credentials as a player, Krishnappa Gowtham’s name would hardly find much mention for batting feats.
He’s an off-break specialist with the ability to surprise batsmen with a clever mix of deliveries. In a short career that is searching for breakthrough moments, he’s claimed 79 first-class wickets and 27 List-a wickets. And that is precisely what he’d been doing in bringing to a struggling Rajasthan Royals- a side desperately in search for forging consistency- some respite from their ordinariness in taking 3 wickets thus far. That told, it isn’t that Krishnappa Gowtham has been absolutely lame with the bat. From 33 T20 appearances for franchise units, he has scored 2 fifties and collected 358 runs. That may give a hint at his mesmerizing 11 balls 33, the match-winning cameo that earned Rajasthan Royals the upper-hand in a last over thriller.
Krishnappa Gowtham: A Consummate Competitor
Perhaps, Krishnappa Gowtham got the first major slice of visibility in the IPL 2018. Even as none of those first-class runs hold the key to justify his obliteration of Mumbai’s rancid bowling attack; a save net of the dangerous Pandya brothers, Bumrah and Rahman. Not a player who commands a lot of attention in a contest. And definitely not a player who resorts to mind-games and lewdness disguised in a veil of competitiveness in a contest that often places talents on the edge. Gowtham likes to silently sneak into a game instead of resting on mannerisms to earn him a frame or two on the big screen. On most occasions, thus far, he’s been the first change bowler for Rajasthan and has chipped in glowingly by collecting dot balls.
He tends to naturally back off from bowling too full or too short and has been low-key, quite like the team he represents. The royalty of representing Rajasthan Royals- IPL’s stylists of its maiden edition- is earned from accumulation of sweat and effort not antics, when Krishnappa Gowtham is in the frame.
Preferring timing over muscular hits
The mysterious unveiling of this power-hitter who blasted away 2 sixes and 4 boundaries, Krishnappa Gowtham quietly emerged with the game’s highest strike rate may well have been a pleasant surprise to many. No fan of bling, Gowtham seems the kind of guy who likes to rally along with his teammates. Not the one who fancies headlines. So as he indulged in tethering of someone like Jasprit Bumrah, slicing to the covers and square region and lifted Pandya effortlessly over deep mid-wicket, it was all those months of quiet progress in the nets that amplified Krishnappa Gowtham’s efforts in the middle of the pitch.
And thankfully, in his unbeaten 33, a facet that Rahane would take any day given Rajasthan have won as many games as they’ve lost- 3- there’s a comforting feeling in finding a number 8 who can clear the fence with relative ease. It comes as a bonus that the offie can skittle a wicket or two when his side needs, mixing pace with spin and turn. Gowtham’s clearing the back leg to lift someone like Hardik Pandya over the on-side was perhaps as sudden and shocking an unfolding as any the Royals may have experienced thus far.
What Gowtham’s presence means for the lower order
Krishnappa Gowtham’s prudence- as elucidated by his preference to time his shots instead of wildly muscling them- highlights a desire to search for merit in the contest. It marks him as a silent attacker, not a beastly striker whose very presence alerts his opponents. This earns him regard for being a sincere competitor who seemingly prefers focus over fiery stroke-play. Although the latter will come in handy in tensed situations that may carry a threat to befall a Rajasthan Royals, heavily reliant on Sanju Samson and Ajinkya Rahane.
But for now, the storm regarding lack of potent lower-order batters seems to have settled with Gowtham demonstrating his heroics.