West Indies' World T20-winning allrounder Dwayne Bravo is mighty impressed with uncapped Kerala speedster Basil Thampi, saying he could soon represent India.
Both Bravo and Thampi are turning out for Gujarat Lions in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"Basil Thampi is a very, very talented youngster. I would say he will get the opportunity to play for Team India in a year or so. He has the talent, obviously, but he also has a lot of heart, pace and the skill. He's always willing to learn," Bravo told PTI today.
During Gujarat Lions' match against Mumbai Indians, the tall pacer impressed everyone by consistently bowling yorkers.
Yesterday, when Royal Challengers Bangalore took the Gujarat Lions attack to the cleaners, Thampi returned economical figures of 1/31 and bowled the maximum (11) dot balls.
Thampi's maiden IPL wicket came in the form of Chris Gayle, after the opener had smashed a 38-ball 77. The bowler set it up with a yorker and trapped him next ball with another full-length delivery.
An excited Bravo, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, went straight to the Kerala pacer and said he would like to take him under his wings.
"He's willing to learn. He asks the right questions. I think India cricket is in right direction when you have someone like him.
"Bowling 140-plus, like Indian speedsters Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thampi has the skill and is really good. I really wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart."
Bravo is ever ready to offer tips to the 23-year-old.
"I follow him very closely, I try to give him a lot of confidence and experience, explain to him, break down the game to him. He's still in a learning phase.
"He has the raw natural talent and ability. It's a matter of playing more games, give him more experience and exposure."
Talking about himself, Bravo has said he's "a game or two away" from returning to action.
Bravo had taken 17 wickets from 15 matches last season and his absence is hurting the team, which is struggling at the bottom of the table with just a win from five matches.
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