Meet Vidwath Kaverappa: IPL debutant who dismissed Faf du Plessis and almost got Virat Kohli twice in a sensational new-ball spell

Punjab Kings (PBKS) are taking on Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in a must-win game for both teams.
Vidwath Kaverappa is a good player.?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
While PBKS made a few changes, the most significant was the inclusion of Vidwath Kaverappa.

Punjab Kings (PBKS) are taking on Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in a must-win game for both teams. Sam Curran, the captain of Punjab Kings, won the toss and opted to field first at the picturesque Dharamsala.

While PBKS made a few changes, the most significant was the inclusion of Vidwath Kaverappa. Vidwath is making his IPL debut, replacing Kagiso Rabada in the XI. A 25-year-old lanky pacer from Coorg, Karnataka, sports come naturally to Kaverappa.

Apart from cricket, he has played basketball, football and handball. Kaverappa had represented his state in handball earlier. However, he always had an interest in cricket and moved to Bengaluru to hone his skills and excel in his career.

Also Read: Meet Anshul Kamboj: Mumbai Indians pacer experiences mixed fortunes on IPL debut

He started his career as an all-rounder, representing a few clubs in Bengaluru. He soon switched his focus to his bowling, developing an accurate pacer. Kaverappa is a new ball specialist with a straightforward action who can extract anything available in the air. His gentle pace aids him, for Kaverappa can move the cherry both ways.

Kaverappa made his First Class debut for Karnataka against Puducherry in March 2022. He quickly established himself in the setup and turned into a genuine wicket-taker. Kaverappa has 80 wickets at an average of 20.08 and a 45.12 strike rate in 40 FC innings, including a ten-wicket haul.

Initially, Kaverappa wasn’t supposed to make his First Class debut, but an injury to Prasidh Krishna paved the way for him. Since then, he has been the central figure for his team across formats in the domestic circuit.

Kaverappa has 38 wickets at 15.81 runs apiece in 18 List A games. He has a four-wicket and a five-wicket haul as well. His T20 record is even more impressive.

Vidwath has 23 wickets at an average of 12 and a strike rate of 12.21 in 13 T20 outings. His economy rate of 5.89 is staggering, given modern-day T20 cricket works. Overall, Kaverappa has been a bonafide wicket-taker across formats despite having certain limitations.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022/23, Kaverappa was the second-leading bowler, scalping 18 wickets at 10.11 balls apiece in eight innings. He also grabbed a five-wicket haul in the tournament.

The 25-year-old continued his top work in the Vijay Hazare Trophy the same year, ending it as the fourth-highest wicket-taker. He snared 17 wickets at an average of 13.17 and a 22.35 strike rate in eight matches. His impressive bowling performances helped Karnataka reach the semifinal.

Punjab Kings caught his consistency and bought him in the IPL auction 2023 at his base price of INR 20 Lakh. While he didn’t get any chance to represent them, Kaverappa developed a lot as a bowler under the guidance of some quality pacers like Kagiso Rabada.

When he finally got a chance to play, Vidwath Kaverappa made an impact immediately. He created an opportunity on just his third delivery against Virat Kohli, but the fielder couldn’t hold a high catch. However, Kaverappa soon dismissed RCB skipper Faf du Plessis in his second over to get his maiden IPL wicket.

Later, he again forced Virat to make an error and gave a relatively arduous chance to Rilee Rossouw at short cover. However, the fielder dropped it again, as Virat earned another lifeline. Kaverappa impressed again by dismissing Will Jacks in his following over to grab his second wicket of the day.

He could have got his third wicket of Rajat Patidar, but another chance went down begging at deep backward square-leg. Harshal Patel was the culprit, and the catch wasn’t as hard. Kaverappa created at least five chances in his four-over spell but was lucky only twice.

He could have easily ended up with more scalps had PBKS fielders supported him well. Still, Kaverappa showed ample promise by sticking to what has worked for him. He bowled on the fuller side to extract as much swing as possible at a venue assisting pacers early on.

Eventually, Vidwath completed his spell with 2/36, but these figures don’t paint the exact story. He bowled much better and showed immense control over his lines and lengths despite bowling to world-class batters of RCB. He will gain a lot of experience from this game and keep getting better from here on.

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