It was in a practice session in 2014 where Anil Kumble, now Director of Cricket Operations and Head Coach of Kings XI Punjab, first spotted Jagadeesha Suchith. He was asked to bowl in the Mumbai Indian nets and the next thing, the Mysore-born left-arm spinner found himself in the VIVO Indian Premier League.
Five years later, the story was a little similar. After an all-cash trade deal, Ravichandran Ashwin was released to Delhi Capitals while Jagadeesha Suchith was picked up by the KXIP franchise.
"I feel very lucky because Anil sir helped me get into the Mumbai team back then," Suchith reflected when speaking to KXIP.in. "And this move would not have been possible without him, so I want to thank him for bringing me into KXIP."
Incidentally, Suchith made his IPL debut with MI in 2015 against the Kings XI Punjab in what was the team's second game of the season and a memorable one for Suchith.
#ApunKaSuperstar J. Suchith was impressive on his #MI debut & supported Bhajji with both bat & ball. pic.twitter.com/7ezkqwse3j— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 13, 2015
"I had a good outing, particularly with the bat," he remembered, referring to the unbeaten 34 he got on the board and forging a 100-run partnership with Harbhajan Singh, that remains his highest T20 score to date. This was after he scalped Glenn Maxwell cheaply when he had bowled earlier in the day.
But he has played in just 15 matches in the IPL across five seasons since that debut match, and that includes a match each in the 2016 and 2019 campaigns.
"Even after playing for so many years, I haven't been given a lot of opportunities after the first year," he pointed out. "I see my chance with KXIP as an opportunity to show my skills and hopefully do well for the franchise.
"There are also a lot of Karnataka boys in the side, so it would be great to play with them," he added, alluding to KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair who are a part of the KXIP squad.
Suchith has played all of his domestic cricket for Karnataka, and his rise through the ranks coincided with that of other fellow-state members in the KXIP team.
"I have played with them from a very young age, since the Under-15 days, particularly with Rahul and Karun," he said. "So, it's great to be a part of it again and if I get to play with them, then there's nothing like it."
Suchith has played just one game at Mohali before, against KXIP, during his stint with Mumbai Indians but now with the Punjab team, he can hope to make a lot more appearances on the famed turf of the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.