'I'm looking forward to building on this success'

After claiming six wickets in his first Ranji game in over two years against Rajasthan last week, the left-arm spinner bagged only his second first-class five-wicket haul. In the process of his best bowling figures in an innings, the 22-year-old also completed 50 first-class wickets.

“I am feeling really confident now,” Appanna said after the day’s play. “The first game was good for me, and this one as well. I am just looking forward to build on this success. The key (today) was sticking to basics and not bowl too many loose balls. Last game also I bowled well but was disappointed that we missed out on a chance to score an outright win. I will be happier if we can win this game,” he remarked.

Anil Kumble’s encouraging words, Appanna pointed out, were of immense help at the beginning of the season.

“He doesn’t discuss too many technical aspects but he told me ‘no matter what, I am going to back you this season. You are going to be my lead spinner.’ Coming back into the squad after a gap of two years, those words did wonders to my confidence,” he stressed.

Appanna said he picked up some clues watching Railways’ left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, who too bagged a five-wicket haul on the opening day. “Kartik was just brilliant on the first day. I watched his video footage yesterday and noticed that he hardly bowled a loose ball. I just tried to follow what he did and I am glad it worked out for me,” he observed.

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