Kings XI Punjab: Yash Thakur, Nachiket Bhute likely to join Kings XI Punjab as net bowlers | Cricket News
File image of Vidarbha pacer Yash Thakur (TOI Photo)
NAGPUR: Young Vidarbha pacer Yash Thakur’s precision and variation have always made him stand out, especially in limited-overs cricket. After a decent last season, he caught the eye of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and could join the team as a net bowler for the upcoming season.
With the league set to start in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE due to Covid-19, the KXIP franchise is eyeing a set of net bowlers. They are targeting Vidarbha’s 21-year-old Thakur and under-19 pacer Nachiket Bhute for that. Both the pacers have been approached by the franchise.
“We are aware that they are on IPL franchise’s radar. We are hopeful that they would make it to the final list,” said a source in Vidarbha Cricket Association.
KXIP are likely to leave for the UAE between August 20 and 23.
“It is a very good sign that four of Vidarbha’s promising pacers — Thakur, Bhute, Aditya Thakare (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Sourabh Dubey (Mumbai Indians) — have been spotted. They would be spending time under the most talented coaches and players for a minimum of one month,” the source added.
If things go smoothly, Thakur and Bhute will be going through a series of Covid-19 tests as has been the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) given by the BCCI to IPL franchises.
While Thakur has been a part of the Ranji Trophy and under-23 teams from the last three years, Bhute has been remarkable in junior cricket. The 19-year-old Bhute was consistent and left his mark whenever he took the ball.
Thakur, who had represented India Under-19, has shown tremendous promise in his early years. As he graduated to the Ranji Trophy, the talented pacer matured and handled the pressure brilliantly.
His best performance at the highest level came in the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Kerala. He was bowling in tandem with Umesh Yadav. The duo rattled the opponents with a fierce show. Yash used the conditions to the best effect and took four wickets in the second essay and supported Umesh (12 wickets in the match), as Vidarbha entered their second final on the trot in 2018-19.
Like Thakur, Bhute is also getting better by the day. In the 2018-19 season, Bhute came into the limelight when he captured 55 wickets, including six five-wicket hauls, to finish as the highest wicket-taker in the 2018-19 Cooch Behar Trophy. Last season, he played a key role in Vidarbha’s triumph in U-23 Colonel CK Nayudu Trophy.
Bhute, who plays for Reshimbag Gymkhana, had a special 2018-19 season with the ball, where he helped Vidarbha reach their second successive Cooch Behar Trophy final. Last year too, he performed well both with bat and ball.