Farmhand’s son Mahesh serving to them practise along with his Ashwin-like motion
VADODARA: Australia’s cricketers are pulling out all of the stops forward of the four-Take a look at collection towards India beginning February 9. As a part of a ‘secret’ training camp in Alur, the Aussies have flown in 21-year-old spinner and former tea seller, Mahesh Pithiya, a rare Ravichandran Ashwin ‘clone’, to prepare for some spin-friendly surfaces during the series. And,of course, prepare for Ashwin’s deadly off-breaks.
The 21-year-old Pithiya’s story, just like his bowling action, is inspiring. The son of a farm labourer from Junagadh in Gujarat, a decade ago Pithiya was struggling to buy a good pair of bowling shoes. Why just shoes, the Baroda spinner often had to buy food with borrowed money. He even worked in a tea stall at one point, serving customers to make ends meet.
Luckily, the right-arm off-spinner’s struggles appears to be in the past. For the past two days he has been staying in a plush Bengaluru hotel in the company of Australian cricketers who appear to be in awe of the fact that Pithiya appears to be a “duplicate” of Ashwin.
Interestingly, Pithiya didn’t see the star India spinner in action till he was 11 years old, in 2013.
“Due to our financial condition, I didn’t have a TV set at home. I first saw Ashwin in action live on TV at a paan stall in our town during the India-West Indies series,” Pithiya told TOI from Bengaluru.
Pithiya was spotted during a Porbandar camp by a local coach, who suggested the rookie spinner shift to Vadodara for better cricketing opportunities. “I promptly took the decision and joined Motibaug Cricket Club in Vadodara in 2014,” he said. Though he began playing official matches, the initial years weren’t easy because of financial constraints.
The struggle was worth it, my parents are so happy: Pithiya
“I worked at a tea stall in the Fatehgunj area for more than a year. My club helped in getting new cricketing shoes and some others generously donated cricketing gear. Playing cricket during the day and working in the evening was tough, but the struggle was worth it. My parents are very happy,” Mahesh Pithiya said.
Things started to turn around when he got into the under-19 team and started earning match fees. Pithiya’s elder brother Dinesh, who shifted to Vadodara to support him, also started a small business. Pithiya recently made his Ranji debut and picked eight wickets from four matches.
“I consider myself lucky. Throwdown specialist Pritesh Joshi sent my video to the Aussies, who picked me up. I bowl like Ashwin sir. I bowled the most to Aussie skipper Steve Smith in the last two days. He kept saying that he liked my bowling style. I did learn a few tricks from Ashwin sir’s bowling,” Pithiya said.
Tushar Arothe, Baroda Ranji’s assistant coach, said that Pithiya was very hard-working and never let his modest background or financial difficulties come in the way of his passion.
“That’s the reason he (Pithiya) was picked up for the BCCI’s emerging players’ camp last y ear and in the Baroda Ranji team this season,” he said. If Pithiya can make a good first impression, he might even get some tips from his idol Ashwin next.
Border-Gavaskar Trophy: All records
<p>Not surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar still leads the charts here. Sachin was invincible against the mighty Aussies and would regularly smack the likes of Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and others all over the park. In 34 Tests vs Australia, Sachin scored 3262 runs at an average of 56.24 and struck 9 hundreds which is the most by any player in Border-Gavaskar Trophy.</p>
<p>One of the best captains and batsmen of all time, Ponting is the highest run scorer for Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. ‘Punter’ was a regular nightmare for the Indian bowlers. His iconic pull shots were the highlights of his gameplay. In 29 Tests vs India, he scored 2555 runs at an average of 54.36 and had 8 hundreds under his belt.<br /></p>
<p>When it comes to perfect stroke playing and elegance, Laxman was tailor-made for that job. He was a regular nemesis of the Aussies. The unforgettable knock at the Eden Gardens in 2001 of 281 in a partnership of 376 with Dravid, which led to India’s historic victory was performed towards the Aussies. In 29 Exams vs Aus, Laxman struck 2434 runs at a median of 49.67 and had 6 centuries.<br /></p>
<p>One in all India’s most dependable batsmen, Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid was rock strong on the crease and performed on for his workforce. His 180 within the partnership with Laxman within the 2001 Kolkata Take a look at vs Australia was essential. In 2008 he pissed off the Aussies along with his strong protection, taking 40 balls to open his account. In 32 Exams vs Aus, Dravid scored 2143 runs at a median of 39.68 and had 2 a whole bunch.<br /></p>
<p>Clarke was a run-machine for the Aussies and was notably prolific towards India. One in all his most iconic knocks was performed in 2012 at Sydney when he struck a mammoth 329* vs India. He was one of many few Aussies who was adept at taking part in spin, particularly on powerful turning Indian tracks. In 22 Exams vs India, Clarke scored 2049 runs at a median of 53.92 and struck 7 a whole bunch.</p>
<p>Kumble is considered among the finest spinners to have performed the sport. ‘Jumbo’ leads the charts of most wickets within the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Towards Australia, Kumble scalped 111 wickets in 20 matches which is probably the most by a bowler towards the Aussies. His finest bowling figures are 8/141. He additionally obtained 10-fifers.<br /></p>
<p>Harbhajan Singh was one of many premier bowlers for Group India. He had an awesome on-field rivalry towards the Aussies. Followers will always remember his hat trick towards them in a historic take a look at match at Eden Backyard in 2001. He was the primary Indian to say a Take a look at hat-trick. In 18 matches vs Aus, Bhajji took 95 wickets at an ER of two.94. His finest bowling figures have been 8/84 and he obtained 7-fifers.<br /></p>
<p>Nathan Lyon is the very best wicket-taker from Australia towards India within the red-ball format. He is only one wicket away from Harbhajan’s mark of 95 wickets. Lyon is thought for his sharp spin which disturbs the focus of the batsmen. In 22 Exams vs India, Lyon obtained 94 wickets at an ER of three.14. His finest bowling figures have been 8/50, with 7-fifers.<br /></p>
<p>Ashwin is a real nemesis of the Aussies. Together with Nathan Lyon, he’s additionally within the race to change into the very best wicket-taker within the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. His carrom ball supply is likely one of the major weapons in his arsenal. In 18 Exams vs Aus, Ashwin has scalped 89 wickets at an ER of two.72. His finest bowling figures are 7/103, with 5-fifers.<br /></p>
<p model=”line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;”>Jadeja is likely one of the outstanding leg-spinners in world cricket. Jadeja is fifth on the chart of probably the most wicket-takers within the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In 12 matches, Jadeja scalped 63 wickets at an ER of two.22. His finest bowling figures are 6/63 and he obtained 3-fifers.</p>
<p>This partnership within the 2012 Adelaide Take a look at between Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke is the very best partnership by runs within the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Ponting scored an iconic 209, whereas Clarke contributed 166 runs.<br /></p>
<p>In a sport that everybody thought India would lose, this magical partnership between Laxman and Dravid introduced the Aussies to their knees. Laxman scored his highest Take a look at rating of 281 and Dravid scored 180. Due to this partnership, India gained the historic take a look at match and in a while gained the collection as properly.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>The Border-Gavaskar collection began in 1996. In 15 collection, India have gained the collection 9 instances, whereas Australia have gained 5 collection and 1 draw which was in 2003-04.</p>
<p>Sachin Tendulkar holds the report for many a whole bunch by an Particular person within the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Tendulkar has obtained 9 tons on this rivalry beneath his belt.</p>
<p>Anil Kumble holds this report. The leg-spinner obtained 10 five-wicket hauls in an inning within the Border Gavaskar Trophy.</p>
<p>Rahul Dravid holds the report for many catches. In 32 matches, he took 46 catches, particularly within the slips.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Steven Smith holds the report for probably the most runs in a single collection because the Border-Gavaskar Trophy was launched, Within the 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar trophy, Smith scored 769 runs, at a median of 128.16, with 4 centuries and a pair of fifties</p>