'Bowling 140-plus, like Indian speedsters Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thampi has the skill and is really good.'
West Indies' World T20-winning all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is mighty impressed with uncapped Kerala speedster Basil Thampi, saying he could soon represent India.
Both Bravo and Thampi are part of Gujarat Lions in the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.
"Basil Thampi is a very, very talented youngster. I would say he will get the opportunity to play for Team India in a year or so. He has the talent, obviously, but he also has a lot of heart, pace and the skill. He's always willing to learn," Bravo said on Wednesday.
During Gujarat Lions' match against Mumbai Indians on Sunday, the tall pacer impressed everyone by consistently bowling yorkers.
And against Royal Challengers Bangalore when Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli took the Gujarat attack to the cleaners, Thampi returned economical figures of one for 31 and bowled the maximum (11) dot balls.
Thampi's maiden IPL wicket came in the form of Gayle, the first batsman to get 10,000 runs in T20 cricket, after the opener had smashed a 38-ball 77. The fast bowler got the RCB opener's wicket with a quick yorker which struck him right in front of the stumps.
An excited Bravo, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, went straight to the Kerala pacer and said he would like to take him under his wings.
"He's willing to learn. He asks the right questions. I think India cricket is in right direction when you have someone like him.
"Bowling 140-plus, like Indian speedsters Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thampi has the skill and is really good. I really wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart."
Bravo is ever ready to offer tips to the 23-year-old.
"I follow him very closely, I try to give him a lot of confidence and experience, explain to him, break down the game to him. He is still in a learning phase.
"He has the raw natural talent and ability. It's a matter of playing more games, give him more experience and exposure."
Talking about himself, Bravo has said he is "a game or two away" from returning to action.
Bravo had taken 17 wickets from 15 matches last season and his absence is hurting the team, which is struggling at the bottom of the table with just a win from five matches.
Image: Basil Thampi celebrates the wicket of Chris Gayle.