Shreyas Gopal, Rajasthan Royals’ Big Spin Sensation

Shreyas Gopal has picked 18 wickets in 13 games for the RR franchise at an economy rate of 7.40 in IPL 2019.

2 min read
Shreyas Gopal is IPL 2019’s second-highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets in 13 matches.

On Tuesday night, rain washed off the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. However in the 9 overs that were bowled, including the six during RCB’s innings, one specific moment cannot be washed off fans’ memories.

Local boy Ramaswamy Shreyas Gopal tore apart the RCB top order in the second over as he packed off skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis to complete his first IPL hat-trick.

Gopal has been in sensational form this IPL and has delivered 18 wickets in 13 games for the Rajasthan franchise at an economy rate of 7.40.

Rahul Dravid over a decade ago had met the starry eyed Shreyas Gopal and told him, “Your bowling will take over your batting, you will be a bowling all rounder.”

Born and brought up in Bangalore, Karnataka, the 25-year old featured for the India U-19’s in three games in 2011.

The all-rounder began his domestic career with the Karnataka Ranji Team during the 2013-14 season and has so far in 56 first-class games scored 2,431 runs with four hundreds and nine fifties, also taking 182 wickets.

Shreyas Gopal plays a shot  during a Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match against Delhi at Alur ground outskirts of Bengaluru.
Shreyas Gopal plays a shot during a Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match against Delhi at Alur ground outskirts of Bengaluru.
(Photo: PTI)

IPL debut for Shreyas came in the 2014 season with Mumbai Indians. Though he only played for them in six games during the course of three seasons (2014-16), he was part of the 2015 IPL winning squad.

In the 2018 IPL auctions he was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals for his base price of 20 lakh. In the 11 games that he played for Royals that season, he grabbed 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.61.

But it is the 2019 IPL that has provided Shreyas Gopal with the spotlight that he needed.

In the Royals’ fourth game earlier this season which was against RCB, Gopal wreaked havoc with figures of 3/12, picking up crucial wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer.

Showering praise on the wily spinner, Steve Smith said: "He has been terrific. Every time we have given him the ball, he has done the job for us. He has taken wickets, big wickets.”

Smith who played his last game of the season for Royals on Tuesday said he believes the 25-year old all rounder is a complete package for Rajasthan Royals.

“I think his batting is underrated. He has come in and played some handy cameos at the end that have helped us get over the line on a couple of occasions.”
Steve Smith, Rajasthan Royals

If one goes back to think on what Dravid had said to Gopal, they may realise that one line can indeed change your life.

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