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Hercules Champions
Spinning a web of intrigue

Vidyuth Sivaramakrishnan is a thoroughbred of impeccable pedigree. His father and two uncles all having played first class cricket, it was only natural that he was hooked onto the game from a young age. Although he has the build of a boxer, Vidyuth's trade consists not of delivering knockout punches but of deceptively gentle left arm spinners.

A member of the Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy squad in 1998-99, he patiently bided his time before forcing his way into the playing eleven against Andhra at Visakhapatnam the following season. Vidyuth created a flutter by taking five wickets in an innings on debut but with Tamil Nadu having a surfeit of medium paced talent on their hands, he did not find it easy to command a regular place in the side.

As Vidyuth points out, even in the opportunities that he did get, he was given short spells which meant that he couldn't really try too many variations but had to focus on the basics, in other words, stick to line and length stuff. But he manfully plugged away, reaping a haul of 14 wickets from 5 matches at 22.71.

The Cooch Behar Trophy provided Vidyuth with another arena to parade his skills and there were no constraints on his approach here, for he was the captain and main strike bowler and could give himself the luxury of bowling for longer spells. He had the satisfaction of snaring 25 victims in 6 games at 14.56 but Tamil Nadu's campaign ultimately ended in disappointment in the quarter final against Bihar despite a heroic effort from Vidyuth.

That was the definitive performance which thrust him squarely under the nose of the national junior selection commitee headed by Rajinder Goel and earned Vidyuth a place in the fourteen for the Under 19 World Cup in January this year. Although he didn't get to play a match, the bonding and camaraderie between the members of the entire squad was one of the important factors behind the Indian victory and Vidyuth too had his own role to play in fostering that team spirit. His first taste of the pressures and demands of international cricket, besides being a first-class education, will have felt like a heady drug which irresistibly draws one again into its reaches.

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Vidyuth Sivaramakrishnan

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