As India continues its search for a reliable left-arm pacer, Prithvi Raj Yarra of Vizag hopes to grab the limelight this cricketing season. Picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2019, the young speedster shares his journey with Teja Kovvali.
As a daunting opponent takes his stance and millions of spectators watch on, you whiz past the solemn umpire to uproot the batsman’s stumps with a fiery ball to break the stadium into a tumultuous space. Welcome to the fascinating world of a fast bowler.
Mesmerised by fast bowling right since childhood, Prithvi took to cricket at a very young age. From first starting out at home to becoming increasingly absorbed into the skill at a summer camp in the city, it was not long before he found himself in professional cricket.
However, it was notably during the U-19 stage that he made remarkable progress in his game. “Initially, I was an ordinary cricketer. I was a tad bit chubby and pretty slow on the field,” he confesses. But after getting to U-19 cricket, Prithvi laid emphasis on his fitness to groom himself to be a better cricketer. The hard work began to pay off as he soon transformed into a meaner fast bowler. His performances were rewarded with a selection to the Andhra Ranji team for the 2017-18 season. Call-Ups to Duleep Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy followed suit as the Vizag-based cricketer continued to impress the selectors with his pace.
His biggest moment though came when the Kolkata Knight Riders bought him at the IPL auction for the 2019 season. Known for unearthing newer bowling talents, including the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna, KKR might just provide an ideal platform for the youngster to shine. “Even though I was supposed to go under the hammer at the previous auction, an injury restricted my chances. But much to my delight, I got picked by KKR this year. The team Kolkata has always been my favourite over the years,” he shares.
In spite of being a nervous starter at the franchise’s preparatory camp ahead of the IPL, Prithvi’s experience has been a memorable one thus far.
Right from the support staff to the senior cricketers and the CEO, everyone at the KKR camp has been very welcoming. Our IPL season kicks off on 24 March and I’m really looking forward to exhibiting my fast bowling talent whenever an opportunity is presented.
While catching the eye in this year’s IPL tops his priorities currently, Prithvi has a long road ahead of him. And given the fierce competition among a handful of left-arm pacers, the 21-year-old certainly has his task cut out. The lanky cricketer commits to hone his skills and keep chugging away, for Prithvi Raj, of Vizag, believes that at the end of the day, consistency will pave his way into the Indian team.
Your fastest delivery
Short ball, right into the ribs of the batsman
Special mention to…
All my coaches and support staff, who have worked relentlessly to help me get here.
Opinion on Vizag
I have been to many places across the country but there has been a city better than Vizag.