To finish as the highest wicket-taker for your team and walk into the Irani Cup squad in your debut first-class season is quite an achievement and K Vignesh has done just that. The 22-year old pacer claimed 37 wickets from nine matches for Tamil Nadu in the 2016-17 season with a best of nine for 70.
Looking back on his journey that paved the way for a spot in the Rest of India squad, Vignesh said, “It has been a great season for me so far and I am looking forward to a good season ahead. It is really surprising and I am really happy that I got selected for Rest of India. No one will dream of a debut season to pan out like this but that is what the idea is all about. This is just the beginning for me, I need to pick those good positive things and move forward.”
He began the season with a five-for against Mumbai in the first innings of the opening match. Recalling his debut, the youngster said, “I made my debut in Lahli which everybody knows is a good wicket (for pacers) in India, so no one can dream of a better debut than that. From that game, I started picking things. My team-mates, captain Abhinav Mukund, and every support staff member has been supportive. Also, coaches back home have been supportive. They have been monitoring me for a long time. I am getting good feedback from them.
“I had been preparing well before the season. The TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League) was a big boost for me. I picked up the form from there and carried it on to Ranji Trophy. Now, I am looking forward to continue in the Irani Cup,” he mentioned when asked about his preparation.
While the local leagues have helped in getting into match form, the pacer has been working diligently with former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath on his skills. “I have been working with Chemplast which has players like M Vijay and Piyush Chawla. Also, I am part of the MRF Pace Foundation. I work under Glenn McGrath so it has been a great exposure. He insists on line and length. We know what kind of a bowler he was. He keeps things very simple. He tries to tell us practical things not technical issues. He shares the experience on how to bowl on different wickets; and how to be patient in pursuit of a wicket. I have been working on my technical skills,” he elaborated while giving an insight into his bowling.
The hard work paid off as Vignesh consistently tested the opponents and has four four-wicket hauls and two five-wicket hauls to his credit. Speaking about his bowling he said, “I am bowler who can bowl patiently and bowl long spells so I will just keep working there. I will try to test the batsman with swing and decent length. That’s my strength.”
Discussing bowling alongside the likes of Asiwn Crist, T Natrajan and Co in the recently concluded Ranji season, he said, “Playing at neutral venues everyone was keen on seeing batsmen how they do well. This time the bowlers have put their hands up and done well. I give credit to the entire bowling unit with the support staff and coach, (Hrishikesh) Kanitkar and also (L) Balaji. They have been amazing and we have been doing a brilliant job.”