Kolkata: One of the heroes of India’s U-19 World Cup triumph, Bengal lad Ishan Porel wasn’t full fit but still decided to play for the team, revealed coach Bibhash Das on Saturday.
The tall pacer had ruptured his step tissue after landing on his left leg but returned to the team in just 12 days, from an injury that usually takes three weeks to recover. Porel made a brilliant comeback in the semi-final and took four wickets conceding just 17 runs to bowl out Pakistan for just 69 runs.
He carried on with his brilliant form even in the final, where he took two wickets, which included the Australian openers Jack Edwards (28) and Max Bryant (14) as India eventually won the match by eight wickets with 67 balls remaining.
Das, who spoke to Ishan after the injury revealed in an interaction with PTI, “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,” he added further.
Das also felt that Ishan should skip a couple of matches to recover from the injury fully.
“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 also said.
Ishan’s height is what makes him a natural candidate for a fast bowler but Das felt that the lad is finding it difficult to adjust to the sudden growth in a few years.
“In fact, he’s struggling with his height, finding it difficult to cope up the sudden growth in a few years,” he said.
Das is also well-aware of the fact that the road ahead is tough for Ishan and said that the pacer should aim for a place in India’s World Cup team in 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,” said Das.
Having made his debut for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy this season, Ishan impressed many with his pace and bounce and Das also felt that his ward should look forward in the future after his exposure in the U-19 World Cup.
“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!” Das added.
While Ishan was celebrating with his teammates in New Zealand, far away back in his native place of Chandannagar, it was a festive atmosphere where the entire locality was celebrating the World Cup win with tricolours.
“You won’t understand unless you come here. Thousands from our locality have gathered here and celebrating the win with drum beats and dancing in India Tricolours. We have sweets for all. This success belongs to all of you,” Ishan’s father Chandranath Porel, told PTI.
He revealed that Ishan was disappointed after remaining unsold in the IPL auctions and it was coach Rahul Dravid’s words of advice, that kept him motivated.
“Dravid Sir told him don’t worry it happens every year, but a World Cup comes once in a lifetime. So give your best. The mantra has worked wonders for him,” he added.
“I’m sure his time will come. The target for him to make the cut for the seniors. We all know it’s tough but Ishan will keep putting in the hard yards.
“It’s been a fairy-tale comeback for Ishan from his (foot) injury. The way he bowled and single-handedly won the match for India against Pakistan in the semifinal is highly commendable,” senior Porel signed off saying.