I can beat anyone in the world with my skills, says rising UAE star Adhitya

Dubai - The youngster spent hours in the nets to master the difficult art of leg-spin


Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Fri 12 Mar 2021, 9:37 PM

Last updated: Fri 12 Mar 2021, 11:15 PM

Having bamboozled Irish star Kevin O'Brien with his turn and guile in a warm-up match in January, rising UAE star Adhitya Shetty was on the cusp of becoming the youngest debutant for the country in one-day international cricket.

But the cancellation of two of the four matches in the one-day series against Ireland due to Covid-19 cases in the UAE camp robbed the 16-year-old leg-spinner of the chance to make history.

Now the talented spinner is ready to wait for his turn on the international stage, having shown spark in age group cricket before leaving a batsman as dangerous as O'Brien shell-shocked with his teasing length and turn in that warm-up match where he finished with match figures of 10-0-46-3.

Shetty’s other victims in that game against Ireland include the prolific Paul Stirling and Harry Tector in what was a remarkable performance against a Test-playing country.

“I think I can beat anyone in the world with my skills,” Shetty told Khaleej Times on Friday.

"(In that warm-up match) I was very delighted as I got the wickets of their top order batsmen, and was feeling very confident going into the series. I got a lot of help from the support staff and mainly our analyst who gave me a lot of video footage of their batting," said Shetty who seemed to overcome the disappointment of missing out on a chance to test his skills against the Irish in the one-day series.

Remarkably, it was not leg-spin that first drew Shetty to cricket.

“When I started playing cricket, I was a fast bowler and a batsman. But as I started playing in school, my DPS (Dubai) school coach asked to bowl leg-spin because I was quite short,” said Shetty who moved to the UAE from India in 2011.

The youngster then spent hours in the nets every day to master the difficult art of leg-spin.

“I have been bowling leg-spin since the age of 11. It’s been more than five years now. So, yes, it requires a lot of practice, but it’s something I love doing, I love playing cricket. It started as a hobby but it has grown into a profession now,” he said before opening up on the areas he would need to work to become successful at the senior level.

“The leap from age group cricket to senior level is quite a big leap. Everyone has almost the same skills, so I think the mental toughness is important. You need to be fitter as well,” said Shetty who has been training with the UAE senior team under head coach Robin Singh.

The Karnataka-born bowling all-rounder who admires Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Indian batsman KL Rahul for their skills and flamboyance, then expressed his gratitude to senior UAE players Chirag Suri and Muhammed Usman for their constant encouragement and support.

“Chirag Suri keeps telling me that I can beat anybody with my skills. Mohammed Usman also keeps telling me that my skills are really good,” said Shetty.

“Even Robin Sir has also told me that I have got great skills and he asked me work on it and develop it,” said Shetty who has outfoxed several experienced batsmen in local cricket with his googly .

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