It’s always mouth watering to watch an Indian bowler running in hard and trying to bowl as fast as he can. That is still a rare thing as far as the Indian cricket fans are concerned though there have been the likes of Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, RP Singh etc in the last five years or so who have clocked around 140-145 kmph.
There is a new find this season in Karnataka’s Abhimanyu Mithun who can be branded as an exciting fast bowler. It is usually boring to watch batsmen piling up the hundreds in domestic cricket on what are often placid batting paradises and especially scoring them against harmless medium pacers. There are hardly any quick bowlers at the moment in the Indian first class cricket with most of them even sadly struggling to clock 125 kmph! That makes the entry of Abhimanyu Mithun quite refreshing.
Yesterday I took the pain of switching on the TV and watch a few minutes of the ongoing Ranji Final between Karnataka and Mumbai just for the sake of watching the new bowlers – Abhimanyu Mithun and Sreenath Aravind. Watched it for a few minutes and thought I had seen enough of Mithun to write this piece.
The first impression I got of Mithun was that this bloke has all the aggression that is needed to become a fast bowler for Test Cricket. I was disappointed with his speeds though as he could regularly clock at just less than 130 kmph and his fastest balls seemed to be at 135 kmph. But the basics are there to become an international fast bowler with the 20-year-old having a good height, surely got to be more than 6.0 ft and is not that wiry thin like an Ishant Sharma. The action and the jump look pretty good as well. The two lengths that aggressive pacers bowl are the short ones and the yorkers which Mithun was bowling regularly.
Mithun seems to be the guy who will give his Captain 100% of his efforts. He is always looking to bend his back and bowl quick. The makings are there for a bowler who can take wickets in a hurry on his day. The other bowler Sreesanth Aravind is a left armer and is just yet another medium pacer clocking the girly speeds of 125 kmph.
This season has been simply superb for Abhimanyu Mithun taking 45 wickets in the Ranji Trophy till the second day’s play of the ongoing Final against Mumbai. He has taken three wickets in the first innings and four wickets in the second in a match total of just 27 overs. I had the honour of watching him bowl a venomous short and rising delivery that forced Mumbai wicket keeper Vinayak Samant helplessly fend it to short leg.
So far Mithun has played 9 first class games including this final. His debut was against Uttar Pradesh at Meerut where he captured an incredible hat-trick besides finishing with a match haul of 11 for 181! I have just come to know that this guy had even played a game in the IPL for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the last edition. Though I had done the commentary of that match, I hardly remember seeing Mithun.
It seems the great Rahul Dravid had spotted and pushed this fast bowling talent. According to news sources, amongst others who have helped Mithun are the Bangalore Royal Challengers Coach Ray Jennings and Bowling Coach Eric Simmons.
My assessment about Mithun is that it would be great if he can add another 10 kmph to his bowling speed to be more effective at the international level. Fitness is the key to make or break a fast bowler, we have already seen how a tearaway fast bowler like Munaf Patel has converted himself into an ordinary line and length pacer. Mithun has to continue with this attitude of hunting hard for wickets every time he bowls. His opportunity will come and my guess is that the upcoming IPL is going to provide him the opportunity to steal the limelight provided that he is consistent with the yorker lengths. We will have to wait and see if he becomes the next Javagal Srinath or the next David Johnson of Karnataka and Indian Cricket!
Here are the perfomances of A Mithun so far :
- 6/86 and 5/95 including a hat-trick against Uttar Pradesh at Meerut
- 1/47 and 1/96 against Delhi
- 2/66 and 0/72 against Bengal
- 3/32 and 4/66 against Maharasthra at Pune
- 4/61 and 2/42 against Baroda at Vadodara
- 2/46 and 1/82 against Saurashtra
- 2/53 and 1/70 against Punjab
- 4/51 and DNB against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Semis at Bangalore