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16-year-old Net Bowler From Kapurthala Earns Praise From Marcus Stoinis And Steve Smith

Marcus Stonis (AFP Image)

Marcus Stonis (AFP Image)

Sameer Khan made life difficult for the 6’4″ tall Marcus Stoinis during Australia’s net session ahead of the opening ODI against India.

Sameer Khan stands barely five feet tall and a few months back completed his 16th birthday.

On Thursday afternoon, the class XI student from Kapurthala was making life difficult for the 6’4″ tall Marcus Stoinis during Australia’s net session ahead of the opening ODI against India.

It was a good 20-odd minutes the slightly-built Sameer bowled his slow left-arm orthodox tweakers to Stoinis and it was a fascinating sight to see an international batter being troubled by a schoolboy.

“Well bowled,” Stoinis acknowledged the youngster a couple of times.

Appearances can be deceptive and it seemed Sameer was able to hurry Stoinis with the pace of his deliveries and keeping a flatter trajectory.

“I got Stoinis leg-before a couple of times today. The coaches didn’t ask me to bowl any specific line but I bowled what came naturally to me. Unko peeche ke paer se khelne ko thodi dikkat ho raahi thi aur tez daala aur upar dala. Thoda phaas rahe thee (Stoinis was having some difficulty when he went on the back foot. I bowled fast and pitched it up),” Sameer said after the net session.

Sameer has been included in Punjab’s U-19 probables’ list and has been put up in a local hotel for the last two days so that he can bowl at Australian batters.

“Yesterday, I bowled for a lengthy period to Steve Smith. It was a great experience. Bahot accha laga. Unhone well bowled bhi kahaa (It felt nice bowling to the Aussies. Some of them even complimented me),” said the son of a bed-sheet seller in Kapurthala.

“We are four brothers and a sister and my parents are completely supportive of my decision to pursue the sport. I played the Punjab T20 League and got a chance in seven games, got five wickets.” With no Ashton Agar in its ranks (he is on paternity leave), Australia possibly needed some quality time against finger spinners since Kuldeep Yadav will be off duty for the first two games.

At the Australia nets on the day, it was more about left-arm spinners, in order to counter the Ravindra Jadeja threat and hence four left-arm spinners were bowling in tandem alongside Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and a Mitchell Starc, who looked gingerly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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