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ICC U19 World Cup 2022: Meet Nivethan Radhakrishnan, The Ambidextrous Spinner in Australia’s Squad

Nivethan Radhakrishnan on Tuesday made the cut in Australia’s 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2022. Radhakrishnan, whose family migrated to Australia from Tamil Nadu in 2013, is an ambidextrous spinner, reportedly the only of his kind in the country’s junior circuit.

The 19-year-old Radhakrishnan, whose family migrated to Sydney has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith and several top Indian cricketers during his IPL stint with Delhi Capitals earlier this year as a net bowler. He was offered a rookie contract by both NSW and Tasmania this season, but he decided to join the latter.

While speaking to ESPNcricinfo earlier this year, he revealed that it was his father Anbu Selvan, himself a former Tamil Nadu junior cricketer, who suggested him to try bowling with his left hand as well.

Also Read: Australia Announce ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 Squad

“Dad and I were having a little water break and I’m naturally right-handed and was just bowling my right-arm offies. “Dad just went: ‘why don’t you start bowling with the left hand?’ No one does it; we hadn’t seen anyone on TV do it when I was six in 2008. There was no one bowling with both hands on TV or in league cricket in Chennai. No one had heard of it back then. I was like: ‘well, why not?’ There’s no fear of failure in my game. If I don’t care what people think about me and don’t care about failing, what limit is there to what I can achieve?” Radhakrishnan said.

Radhakrishnan has previously represented Australia at the U-16 level. It was Radhakrishnan’s father who encouraged him to try bowling finger spin with both hands.

However, before becoming a spinner, he used to be a fast bowler. “Before I bowled spin, I used to bowl seam in Chennai. I used to bowl both seam and spin. If I was an aspiring fast bowler of Indian origin, I probably came to the wrong country. The kids three or four years younger than me here are six feet, so I can’t really compete bowling little leg-cutters on these decks and will probably get whacked,” he said.

In 2019, Radhakrishnan made the Australia U-16 team for the Dubai tour where he finished as their leading wicket-taker in one-day matches, taking seven wickets in four games. He also scored 145 runs in four innings.

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