Bengaluru, Nov 2: He has impressed several former and present cricketers with his pace. Rahul Dravid too has praised this lad. And recently he had his 'big day' bowling to South African batsmen at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.
The boy who has caught the eye in Indian domestic circuit is 20-year-old right-arm fast bowler Nathu Singh.
Nathu, the son of a labourer at a wire factory in Jaipur, was selected in the Board President's XI team to face the visiting South Africans.
In the 2-day game, he bowled at international batsmen for the first time. He had only 1 wicket (Dean Elgar) to show but he made his mark with pace.
Nathu's story is an inspiring one for every youngster. He had a dream to play cricket but stuck to only doing it on the streets before his father Bharat Singh decided to put all his little savings for his son.
He had to pay Rs 10,000 at an academy in Jaipur. Later, Nathu was at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai where Glenn McGrath too was impressed with him.
"Bharat Singh took one of the biggest gambles of his life. He put all of his life savings in line to give his son a chance. Nathu was sent in to Surana Academy in Jaipur. Three years later, he was bowling to the likes of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai," a report on BCCI.TV said.
Nathu made the headlines this season in Ranji Trophy when he took 7/87 on first-class debut for Rajasthan against Delhi. One of his wickets was Gautam Gambhir.
The boy from Jaipur has revealed he loved watching Pakistan's paceman Shoaib Akhtar and wants to break his speed (160 kmph) record.
"I loved watching Shoaib Akhtar bowl. He was so quick. I watched him and decided that I want to bowl so fast that I break his record. And for that I have to work really hard, for which I am absolutely prepared," he said.
With him gaining praise from all quarters, Nathu said it 'scares' him. "It makes me feel really happy (that everyone is backing me to make it big) but at the same time it also scares me. So many people have such high hopes from me and what if I fail to live up to it?
"But the moment I feel that I am thinking about these things too much, I stop myself and bring my focus back to the present. I tell myself to concentrate on the cricket that I am playing right now and give it my all to do well in the next match. Rest of the things will take care of itself," Nathu explained.
Having started off well in first-class cricket, Nathu could soon be knocking on the door for national selection.