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Vijaykumar Vyshak in action for RCB in IPL 2023© BCCI

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 found a new hero on Saturday and his name is Vijaykumar Vyshak. The 26-year-old fast bowler from Karnataka turned out to be the star for Royal Challengers Bangalore as he took three wickets to guide his team to victory over Delhi Capitals at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The cricketer was brought into the side as replacement for the injured Rajat Patidar after performing brilliantly in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He took 38 wickets in 10 first-class matches and in T20 cricket, he ended up taking 22 wickets in 14 games.

Vyshak, who grabbed an impressive 3 for 20 against Delhi Capitals on his IPL debut on Saturday, was apprehensive about bowling his knuckle ball, but got the confidence after the team management told him to “express yourself”.

The 26-year-old cleverly mixed his lengths, varied his pace and bowled a perfect knuckle ball with an upright seam to take the DC batters by surprise.

“I wasn’t ready to bowl the knuckle ball but Faf came and told me again, ‘You can probably go for a slower one’ so I thought I’ll do that and I got a wicket,” Vyshak said at the presentation ceremony after RCB’s 23-run win.

“It’s very important because the management has told me to go express yourself so I think I did that and I’m very pleased with the performance.

“Faf came and told me that the wicket was holding a bit so I backed my strength and bowled my slower ones a little more and I think that helped for me.” Vyshak bowled a smart slower one to get his maiden wicket in the form of David Warner, and his knuckle ball did Axar Patel in.

“I’ve been working on it for two years so I think it’s finally paid off.” A net bowler to start with, Vyshak was unsold at the IPL auction and RCB drafted him in place of injured batter Rajat Patidar.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time. I’ve been working hard so I think it’s been paying off.”

(With PTI inputs)

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