‘Saurabh Netravalkar Is Definitely IPL Potential’: USA Star’s Childhood Coach Chandrakant Pandit On Pacer’s Future In Cricket

‘Saurabh Netravalkar Is Definitely IPL Potential’: USA Star’s Childhood Coach Chandrakant Pandit On Pacer’s Future In Cricket

Chandrakant Pandit has suggested that Saurabh Netravalkar will be in reasonable demand in auction ahead of IPL 2025.

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Sunday, June 16, 2024, 06:08 PM IST
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Chandrakant Pandit had once coached Saurabh Netravalkar. | (Credits: Twitter)

Saurabh Netravalkar's former coach Chandrakant Pandit, who coached him during the 2010 U-19 World Cup, feels the USA pacer will be in great demand among all the IPL franchises.

When asked if the Kolkata Knight Riders would rope him in, the coach responded, "It's too early to comment on this, but he is definitely IPL potential,” said Pandit while talking to Free Press Journal from Gwalior where he is the director of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.

Pandit was full of praise for Netravalkar, the Mumbaikar who now dons the USA colours in the T20 World Cup. Netravalkar has taken five wickets in the three matches in this championship, including the prized wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Harshal Patel, and Jaydev Unadkat among others during the training session before the U-19 World Cup, Netravalkar is among the very few who has maintained the same bowling style despite shifting to the US, where cricket is not widely known, let alone played regularly.

"This is where he is special. I would understand if he had shifted his base to the UK or Ireland, where cricket is played regularly, but staying in the US for over a couple of years, he is what he was when I saw him over a decade back. That makes him a special person," said Chandrakant Pandit about his ward.

"He is a calm bowler and does not show any pressure" - Chandrakant Pandit on Saurabh Netravalkar

A strict disciplinarian himself, Pandit calls Saurabh a person who has maintained the same discipline and approach to the game of cricket.
"It has been over 13 years since I last saw him bowling, and when I saw him on TV, he is the same bowler who maintained the same line and length," said Pandit.

"What makes me feel different about this boy is he does not react after taking a wicket. He is a calm bowler and does not show any pressure even while bowling to the world's greatest players, such as Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma. That makes him a perfect seam bowler."

A tall left-arm fast bowler, Netravalkar, during his stint in India, took 30 wickets in six games in the Cooch Behar Trophy in 2008-09. In 2010, he was India's highest wicket-taker at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. He had hoped his performance would pave the way for a berth in the senior Mumbai set-up, and perhaps even an IPL contract. But the presence of Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Aavishkar Salvi, and a young Dhawal Kulkarni made it difficult for the youngster to break into the Mumbai side.

"He is focused and a quiet bowler. His nature reflects his character, which very few have even after playing in the U-19 World Cup for the country, and that is the reason I said he is a different person," said Pandit.

During this time, Netravalkar completed his bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sardar Patel Institute of Technology (SPIT), Mumbai. However, with limited opportunities to play for Mumbai, he decided to pursue higher studies. In 2015, he received an offer for admission from Cornell University in New York for a master's degree and moved there.

Apart from being a professional cricketer, Saurabh Natravelkar is an engineer, working with computer technology giant Oracle. As per his profile on LinkedIn, Saurabh Netravalkar is the Principal member of the Technical Staff. He has been working with Oracle for eight years since 2016, starting his career as a Member of Technical Staff.

He is dedicated to both his work and cricket, maintaining the same level of commitment to both. Back in the US, Netravalkar began playing recreational cricket on the weekends and in 2018 made his List A debut for the USA. He has continued his passion for this gentleman's game while balancing his professional life. Wherever he is, he carries his laptop to keep himself connected with his work.

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