Kartik Tyagi of Uttar Pradesh claimed that he was trying to earn a spot in the domestic squad before the arrival of Suresh Raina, a former Indian batter, who changed the direction of his career forever.
Tyagi began playing cricket at the age of 13, but despite his excellent performance, he was consistently left out of the Uttar Pradesh side. It all changed when Raina recognised Tyagi’s talent and promised him a chance to show his abilities on the field.
Kartik Tyagi on Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is one of the most popular cricketers among fans and young players who have had the opportunity to play alongside him, and he is known for assisting and guiding them. Kartik Tyagi of the Sunrisers Hyderabad spoke about the former India cricketer and why he is so important in his life.
Tyagi rose to fame in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, where he was India’s highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets. In the same year, he was selected for the IPL auction for a fee of 20,000 rupees and was placed in India’s squad for the Test series against Australia. This rise, however, would not have been possible without Raina’s help, as Tyagi points out.
“Like I always say one thing, that after Under-16, Suresh Raina entered my life like a god because people started to recognise me when I was selected for Ranji Trophy. When I was 13, I participated in the Under-14 trials and this is where my cricketing journey began. I started playing for the Under-14 team and then Under-16. In the U-16, there was a season where I got 50 wickets in 7 matches. That is where the selectors started noticing that there is a player who has been taking a lot of wickets at the State level. Despite taking plenty of wickets, we reached the finals but lost. It was there that Gyanendra Pandey sir spotted me and he said that he was impressed by my performances and he will promote me going forward,” Karthik Tyagi said.
Raina was a well-known member of the Indian team and one of the top run-scorers in the IPL, so his words meant a lot to Tyagi. He built on his self-assurance gained from Raina’s interaction and hasn’t looked back since.
“From there I reached the State Ranji Trophy camp. When I arrived, I was just a 16-year-old youngster while the others were established players. Then there was an incident where Suresh Raina had also come. I used to be very silent and was observing everything. He was about to leave after his practice, but I don’t know why he came back to the ground. He then approached me and asked me about what was my role. I told him that I was a bowler and then he gave me a chance to bowl in the nets. He saw my performance and told me that ‘I liked your bowling and I will ensure you get chances in the future.’ Personally, for me, it was a good thing that someone like Suresh Raina noticed my performance,” he added.
“I was a little shocked that such a big player has complimented me and for a moment, I thought that he was joking. When he said that I was doing well, I still couldn’t believe that I will get a chance to play in the coming days. After that, it was quite shocking for me that my name was shortlisted for the UP Ranji team. My Ranji career started from there and later I progressed to the Under-19 team and eventually played the Under-19 World Cup,” Tyagi concluded.