SOMETIMES the right player just falls at a club's feet.
In West Warrnambool's case, Akshay Kapadia was a needle in a haystack.
The Indian national, who is working as a civil engineer at Bushfield firm Rodger Construction, played three division four games for the Panthers before he started turning heads in the Davidson Oval nets.
His distinctive left-arm off-break bowling caught the eye of coach Alastair Templeton and in the space of a week, Kapadia was promoted to division one for a Twenty20 hitout against North Warrnambool Eels.
He showed promising signs. Kapadia forced Eels opener Jackson Grundy to snick off and finished with figures of 1-19 off three.
His next stanza, a 2-18 haul against reigning premier Russells Creek off seven overs, was impressive again.
IN OTHER NEWS:
But unlike so many of his sub-continental predecessors, Kapadia doesn't have a huge formal playing history. Instead of club cricket at his homeland, he focused on studies.
The 26-year-old's stint in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association is really his first foray into club cricket at any level.
"I played one year in my school and I used to play with my friends, not in a club (environment), it was casual and practice," Kapadia told The Standard.
"It was during the school holidays and that sort of thing. I was very keen when I first came to Australia, the first thing was to join a cricket club.
"But with my studies and the workload, it was a bit much (initially). I was working as well as studying first of all. Now my studies are finished it's only work so I can get down and play."
Kapadia said the call-up to division one was a learning curve.
"In India, I played on concrete pitches," he said.
"Last Thursday we played a Twenty20 on a (hard wicket) which were similar conditions with the pitch but Saturday was on turf.
"It was very good, I like playing on turf pitches more than the concrete ones. It's good because you just pitch it on the right spot and the batsman can make a mistake. You just want to keep the batsman moving so he can't (get comfortable).
"That's what the secret is. If you bowl one line, he will get to know what you're doing. If you change with your variation with the pace and things, like Al (Templeton) guided me, it will put you in a good position."
Templeton said Kapadia had the attributes to become a strong division one bowler.
"We saw straight away when he trained, particularly with all the limited overs cricket at the moment, he's definitely got the ability to bowl really well at a really high level," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
"He probably didn't realise himself until the weekend that he could go pretty well at a decent level. We weren't quite sure how he'd take it but I think he quite keen to see turf and to bowl on that instead of hard wickets.
"He's really raw and the good thing is that he knows what he does but he can learn our conditions and adapt well. He did that on the weekend really well."
Kapadia said the south-west was starkly different to his hometown of Mumbai but was enjoyed the sea-change.
"India is like busy, busy, busy, busy and all of a sudden you come to a quiet place like here," he said.
"It's good. Even in Melbourne, which is all busy but not like India, you like it."
West Warrnambool will play Northern Raiders and Koroit in Twenty20 fixtures on Saturday before the WDCA's Christmas break.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.