Don't say it out loud yet. But the long wait for cricket’s first ambidextrous cricketer might just be over.
What's more, he's from Indian shores. Vidarbha’s Akshay Karnewar is just 23 years old and has a long way to go yet, but if he can harness his unique skills, he could easily be the next big thing in cricket.
What’s so special about him? Karnewar is probably the first serious ambidextrous cricketer to have played the game. A glimpse of his ability was seen in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Trophy tie between Vidarbha and Baroda on Tuesday.
Karnewar can bowl both right arm off-spin and left-arm spin. And as evidenced in the above video, he seems to have pretty good control over both, switching between arms between overs and even in the middle of overs. He finished with 0/22 in his three overs, but was unlucky not to bag a wicket when Irfan Pathan was dropped off his bowling.
The 23-year old started off as an off-spinner, but then his eagle-eyed coach Balu Navghare noticed that he was comfortable with his left arm too. With his coach’s encouragement, Karnewar started bowling with his left arm as well, growing in confidence. And though he is still a greenhorn (only seven List A matches so far), there is no doubt that his unusual ability makes him a definite standout.