Indian Focus News

Nitish Kumar Reddy: The Abundant Talent from Andhra That Is Sure to Please

<p>The term “cricket prodigy” is one that is used much too often these days. However, not every name that is passionate about sports wears the tag, even with its increasing popularity.<br />
Only a select handful who possess natural talent are given the moniker. Uninvited in its nature, it places unwarranted pressure on those who exhibit distinct qualities from the others in their age group and often preys on them.</p>
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<p>One may argue that the tag serves as a funnel for separation and carries a unique identity, albeit at a high cost.</p>
<p>The uncertain weight of the tag threatens to split the fragile small shoulders wide at a time when the weight of a kit bag is enough to wear them down.</p>
<p>Cricket prodigies are expected to dominate their age group in every match, but they aren’t always praised in the same way as some of their less talented peers, even though they have broken records that seemed unachievable. On the rare occasions when they don’t dominate their peers the way they usually do, they ruthlessly receive a rap on the knuckles.</p>
<p>The game often loses its cocoon of enjoyment and becomes covered in a peel of relentless race to the top, but the tag takes their vision beyond the net sessions of their competitors and aspires them to find a footing in another practice session running in tandem, a few yards away from theirs, fuelled by burning kinetic energy.</p>
<p>Prodigies don’t need to be fast-tracked, in contrast to their friends who do. Like fish to water, they move to the big boys’ circuit and create a splash captivating enough to captivate even the most apathetic spectators.</p>
<p>But living in the fast lane takes some of these prodigies away from the comforts of their small amphitheatres and into coliseums where the irrational ones falter and only a few strong-willed ones remain standing promising to turn their talent into world-class performances. Andhra’s Nitish Reddy is one of those people.</p>
<p>When Nitish appeared at the BCCI annual awards event in 2017–18 to accept the Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy—given to him for being the star of the U16 circuit—the public got its first look at him.</p>
<p>Nitish was overjoyed with his accomplishment and even more so when he realized that it had placed him on the same platform as Virat Kohli, the captain of India at the moment and maybe the finest batsman of all time.</p>
<p>Nitish was a great fan of Virat and want to speak with him, but since life forces us to work hard for everything, the Andhra-born person’s eager conversation had to wait.</p>
<p>After six years, the Vizag lad ran across his cricketing hero once again. Although there were many parallels between the two encounters, there were also significant differences.</p>
<p>Nitish was not only on the same platform as Virat, but he was competing at the same level as well, having outperformed several talents along the way.</p>
<p>Six years ago, at the BCCI’s annual award ceremony, Nitish, then a teenager, was in awe of his idol. On May 18, when Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) hosted Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, Nitish, now 19 years old, was given the task of dismissing the same idol.</p>
<p>“I could feel the nerves but after bowling a couple of deliveries I became poised and motivated myself to pull it off,” Nitish lovingly recalls.</p>
<p>Even though he went for every ball to get the coveted scalp of Virat, the latter proved to be too strong that day, smashing a century to win the match and send RCB home.</p>
<p>For the Sunrisers and their supporters, the evening came to an unfortunate conclusion, but Nitish was happy that he had finally been able to spend some time with his hero, something he had been waiting for for years.</p>
<p>“He had scored a hundred, and the announcers were waiting for him, so I couldn’t speak too much. I just went to him and informed him that I had been a huge admirer of the RCB for the last eight years and that I appreciated his approach. Before he left, I got his signature and he wished me luck for the remaining games.”</p>
<p>Unwaveringly industrious<br />
Athletes are recognized for having a mentality that pushes limits in the pursuit of improving themselves. Although this unending desire aids in the development of their skill, it may sometimes result in tragic incidents on the field that jeopardize careers. Nitish, who is goal-oriented, has also experienced hardships.</p>
<p>While playing in a domestic game in 2023, he tore his anterior talofibular ligament, a tear that caused him to scream in pain and keep him out of the game for weeks.</p>
<p>“It was an extremely serious injury that put my character to the ultimate test.</p>
<p>“Maintaining the fitness and the strength level and having the belief that a comeback was possible, was very tough,” Nitish says.</p>
<p>“My physiotherapist (Sreenivas) and the gym trainer supported me and put in a lot of effort to assist me reach my current level of fitness.</p>
<p>“To make a resurgence, I indulged in weight and endurance training as well as routine physiotherapy.”</p>
<p>“I felt insecure when I returned to the field after my rehabilitation since the type of my injury prevented me from running.</p>
<p>“I was often worn out by my inability to bowl with 100% vigor. However, I was committed to making a change, and it was this commitment that enabled me to go back to my prior level of fitness.</p>
<p>Fighting a false identity<br />
Nitish, 20, is racing like a horse in a derby thanks to his IPL deal with SRH, possibilities at the India U19 and ‘A’ levels, and the opportunity to learn from legends like Brian Lara and Dale Steyn.</p>
<p>Nitish’s success can seem like “too much, too soon” to someone who isn’t into the hard nature of the sport, but that isn’t the case at all.</p>
<p>Nitish didn’t restrict his identity to being a batter after being honoured by the BCCI for his batting excellence at the U16 level; instead, he developed his skills and discovered new dimensions to his ability.</p>
<p>After learning to leap over hoops, Nitish acquired the skill of swinging the ball both ways, which has been the main driver of his recent success. Although his stock has increased due to his growing prominence as a bowler, this has put him in an interesting conflict that he was not prepared for.</p>
<p>Nitish admitted to being an all-around batsman to India TV.</p>
<p>“I’m very sure nobody is aware of my hitting prowess. While my teammates at Andhra are aware of my bat skills, they are only aware of my bowling prowess. I’m prepared to show that I am a terrific all-round batsman. It most likely accounted for my lack of opportunity to bat in the Emerging Asia Cup.”</p>
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