Nivetan Radhakrishnan, an ambidextrous cricketer, is one of the two Indian-origin players named in the Australia squad for the 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup. Cricket Australia announced the 16-player squad on Tuesday (December 14) for the January event in the West Indies. (More Cricket News)
Radhakrishnan, 18, shot into the limelight earlier this year when the Delhi Capitals picked him as one of their net bowlers for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.
So who is Nivetan Radhakrishnan?
Radhakrishnan was born in Tamil Nadu. His family moved to Sydney in 2013 when he was 10. His father, Anbu Selvan was a former junior Tamil Nadu cricketer. Selvan then managed teams in TNCA leagues.
Nivetan Radhakrishnan will be representing Australia in U19 World Cup. A spinner who has the ability to bowl right handed to left handers and left handed to right handers. He's from Tamil Nadu.— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 19, 2021
Radhakrishnan can bowl both off-spin with right-arm and left-arm spin. But the all-rounder started his cricket career as a pacer. He has played in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, besides turning up in several other TNCA tournaments. And he has already represented the Australia U-19 team too.
Nivetan Radhakrishnan has been selected to play for under-19 Australian team. He can bowl right hand for left handers and left hand to right handed batsmen. He is from Dindigul in TamilNadu!— KaviðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ (@kavita_tewari) December 19, 2021
Quite a talent! pic.twitter.com/FZSoq8SDms
He was the highest wicket-taker for the Australia U-19 team during the 2019 tour of Dubai. Radhakrishnan then got offers from both New South Wales and Tasmania. But he opted for Tasmania.
For the record, Radhakrishnan is one of the many ambidextrous cricketers who have emerged from the Indian sub-continent in the recent past. Other notable names are Sri Lanka's Kamindu Mendis, Pakistan's Yasir Jan and India's Akshay Karnewar. Then, there are M E Sanuth and Vikash Chauhan, who were part of the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009.
Jemma Barsby, who plays for Perth Scorchers and South Australia, is another notable ambidextrous cricketer.
A decade ago, Australia's World Cup-winning coach John Buchanan had said that there will be more ambidextrous cricketers.
"Hopefully in years to come, we will see more of these players who can use both sides of their bodies to advantage," said Buchanan, who was in charge of KKR.
By the way, the other Indian-origin player named in Australia's U-19 World Cup squad is Harkirat Bajwa. Like Radhakrishnan, the 17-year-old off-spinner has also played for Australia U-16.
His family moved to Australia from Mohali in 2012. Harkirat's father, Baljit, 45, was reportedly a construction engineer in Mohali and was part of the team that constructed the PCA Stadium. Harkirat now drives a cab in Melbourne.
In the past, many Indian-origin cricketers have represented Australia U-19 teams and went on to earn baggy greens, like Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha and Tanveer Sangha.
Australia last won the U-19 World Cup in 2010. They start their 2022 campaign on January 14, with a fixture against the hosts, West Indies
Australia U-19 Squad: Harkirat Bajwa, Aidan Cahill, Cooper Connolly, Joshua Garner, Isaac Higgins, Campbell Kellaway, Corey Miller, Jack Nisbet, Nivethan Radhakrishnan, William Salzmann, Lachlan Shaw, Jackson Sinfield, Tobias Snell, Tom Whitney, Teague Wyllie.