Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s stock was on a high after the 2018 Under-19 World Cup and when he was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL auction. A lively fast bowler, capable bat and brilliant fielder, he had all the boxes ticked to progress higher until injury had a say.
Since then he hardly played matches over the last three years. He missed the 2018 and 2019 editions before playing 10 matches in 2020 and one this year.
This is the first time he has completed both the Syed Mushtaq Ali that ended last year and the Vijay Hazare Trophy in three years.
Speaking on Sunday after Rajasthan’s pre-quarterfinal loss to Karnataka, Nagarkoti said, “I have been injured for a while so it was important for me to be back playing for my State again and perform well. When I was at the NCA, I was practising according to a set workload. I planned to be fit for all the matches in this tournament by utilising my training regimen well.
When asked about dealing with the disappointment of injuries, Nagarkoti said, “Every sportsperson goes through periods of absence due to injury. What is important is how impactful the comeback is. In the beginning, I was struggling with my pace. At KKR, Omkar Salvi is working with me and I have my coach Surendra Singh Rathod. I consulted them when planning to make small changes to my bowling action, and it helped a lot. I didn’t face a problem with my pace.”
Elaborating, the pacer said, “The three years were good as well as bad. It was good because I was at the NCA and spent time with (Rahul) Dravid sir. I learnt a lot. When you get injured the next time, you know what to do and what to avoid — the things that add to the load and to manage those. So I learnt these things.”
Will wait for my time
“The disappointment was the realisation that if I hadn’t been injured, I may have played at higher levels sooner. But that’s fine; everyone has his time, and I will wait for my time to come and perform when I get the chance.”
With a small tweak in action without compromising his pace and swing, the 21-year-old feels he is back on track and wants to make up for the lost time.