Ishan Porel, the India U19 pace bowler from Bengal, who picked up 4 wickets in the U19 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan, and 2 wickets in the final against Australia, was playing with an injured foot, the 19-year-old pacer coach Bibash Das revealed on Sunday (February 4).
The lanky pacer had ruptured his out step tissue on his landing leg (left) in India’s tournament opener against Australia which almost derailed in U19 World Cup campaign and forced him to miss the next few matches, until making a comeback against arch-rivals Pakistan in the big semi-final. Bibhash Das said that Ishan was desperate to play and contribute in Indian colts’ success, which is why he chose to play through pain.
Porel’s spell of 6-2-17-4 skittled Pakistan out for 69 in the semifinal and his 2/30 in the final sent both the in-form Australian openers back in the hut. Bibhash Das, Porel’s childhood coach, further revealed that he had a word with the young pacer after his injury and said: “He’s not fully recovered, and bowled with pain on his foot. Such a kind of injury would take a minimum three weeks to recover.”
“It’s not actually an ankle injury. He has a tear on his out step of the left leg. He bowled with a heavily taped leg with insole in his shoe, so that he does not aggravate his injury. It’s only because of the advanced treatment in New Zealand that he could play in the three knockout matches,” Das told PTI.
“I would say he should give up at least a couple of matches in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. It will help him recover,” he said.
Hailing from a family with strong roots in sports, Porel was a former table tennis player before his good height made him a natural choice for a fast bowler.
With a six feet and three inches frame, almost same as India pacer Ishant Sharma, Porel is now struggling to cope with fitness.
“In fact, he’s struggling with his height, finding it difficult to cope up the sudden growth in a few years,” Das said.
The coach is aware of the tough road ahead and said his ward should aim to be in India’s team for the World Cup 2019.
“The biggest challenge for him, and me, is to keep him physically fit so that he could bowl with full strength. We will do our best. Porel should target the World Cup 2019 now,” Das said.
Having made his Ranji debut for Bengal this season, Porel has impressed with his pace and bounce.
“He was consistently clocking 138kph. His forte has been speed and bounce. He’s not a swing bowler per se, but he has a natural ability to generate off the seam movement and more bounce,” said Das.
“Under-19 world cup is definitely a great exposure. one looks up to the future, from there. Not everyone gets an opportunity to play in the World Cup, even the likes of VVS Laxman, Irfan Pathan did not get a chance.
“But the journey begins now. You have to keep working hard. You cannot stop now. You should know that you won’t be 19 again!”