Meet Nivethan Radhakrishnan: Australia’s ambidextrous cricket prodigy

Nivethan Radhakrishnan in action for Australia's under-16s. Picture courtesy of PCB.
Nivethan Radhakrishnan in action for Australia’s under-16s. Picture courtesy of PCB.Source: FOX SPORTS

If having a good all-rounder is like having two players in one, then having Nivethan Radhakrishnan in your side is like having three players in one.

The 16-year-old from Sydney’s west is a part of the Australia Under 16s team playing Pakistan right now and alongside batting at No.3 or 4 he bowls finger spin with both arms.

In July last year foxsports.com.au published an article querying whether the rise of the ambidextrous cricketer would be the next big step in the game. It turns out Cricket Australia has already found one, with Radhakrishnan firmly embedded in the pathways program.

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Teenage ambidextrous prodigy

Teenage ambidextrous prodigy

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India’s Ambati Rayudu has been reported for a suspect bowling action that has been compared by cricket legends to polarising off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

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The International Cricket Council said on Sunday the 33-year-old’s action will be put under the microscope after it was flagged during the first ODI against Australia in Sydney.

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He bowled two overs and didn’t snare a wicket, but raised eyebrows within the Fox Cricket commentary box for the uncanniness to Muralitharan.

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“There’s a lot of Murali in that,” Mark Waugh said during commentary, while Michael Vaughan and Isa Guha both agreed.

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“There’s a lot of Murali there. Almost looks identical,” Vaughan added.

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Muralitharan is cricket’s greatest ever wicket-taker (1,334 Test and ODI wickets), whose action was regularly scrutinised by the ICC for a suspected throwing action. He was most notably repeatedly no-balled by umpire Darrell Hair in the 1995 Boxing Day Test.

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The ICC in 2005 eventually relaxed its rules to allow bowlers to extend their elbows up to 15 degrees. Only five degrees was previously allowed for spinners.

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Now Rayudu’s action will be assessed to see if his elbow flex falls outside the parameters.

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“Rayudu’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions,” the ICC said in a statement.

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The part-time spinner’s action must be tested within 14 days, but he is allowed to bowl until the results are out.

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Adelaide will host the second ODI on Tuesday, and the final game of the series will be played in Melbourne on Friday.

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