At the Royals, we’ve always believed in and promoted raw, young talent, and many of them have gone on to have glittering careers over the past 13 years. “Discovering potential, championing dreams” is what we call it at the franchise, and it holds true for many in the current squad as well. Among them this season, is a young quartet of Indian fast bowlers, raring to go.

Just one day before hard quarantine got over, we spoke to the boys one by one on a video call -  with the four of them in their respective rooms abiding by the strict rules of the IPL bubble. After six days in their rooms, they still had smiles on their faces despite being alone, and far away from their home and families. Maybe, just maybe, because they’re with another one.

20-year-old Kartik Tyagi joined us in 2020 after a superb U-19 World Cup campaign and went on to become a regular in the side last year, which resulted in him being part of the Indian contingent travelling to Australia.  “The first time I joined the Royals family, I got the “shahenshah” (king) treatment from everyone. I had never been a part of a camp like this before, and the environment here is just the best”, says Kartik, stressing on how he felt at home from Day 1 even among international stars, who made him better. “Getting to play with world-class pacers like Jofra Archer made me even more confident about my own game. It’s made me improve, and I want to keep challenging myself more and more now. I am very competitive, and want to do as much as I can to compete against the best,” he said. As an example, he cites working with the coaching staff on his bowling speeds. “Our (fast) bowling coach (Rob Cassell) has moulded my training in a way that’s helped me avoid tiring myself out in the process of generating more pace, something that I’m very keen on,” he said.