Bangalore:It took former India captain Rahul Dravid barely 10 minutes to assess Abhimanyu Mithun's ability in a practice match, during which he was left hopping around at the crease by the strapping pacer, before plumbing for the youngster's inclusion in the Karnataka Ranji Trophy team.
Since making an outstanding first class debut against Uttar Pradesh at Meerut, where he had 11 scalps, including a hat-trick, the 21-year-old has put the fear in the batsmen's heart and captured the imagination of the connoisseur.
An "exciting" pacer, Mithun has the wherewithal to cover a long distance and shine in the highest level one day, feels Dravid.
"He has done really well in his first season. He has the qualities of making an exciting fast bowler," Dravid said.
"He has a lot going his way. He has good work ethics. He is quick, bowls a good line and length and has good variation. He keeps the ball in the right areas. If he keeps working and improving, he should surely have a great future," Dravid added.
Dravid, however, refrained from comparing Mithun with former India speedster Javagal Srinath, who emerged out of nowhere and stunned the cricket world with his searing pace and bounce in the 90s.
"It being his first season, it is unfair to compare him with Srinath. But he is definitely quick. It is early days for him. He has a long way to go. With proper guidance he should be a great fast bowler to watch," Dravid observed.
In eight Ranji outings, six on docile tracks, Mithun has bagged 38 wickets, and is now the second highest wicket-taker of the season, barely one stick behind statemate R Vinay Kumar (39 from seven matches).
It is his sizzling pace, accurate line and length as well as the variations that has won him accolades from senior pros.
Even on a benign deck at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Mithun (4/51) made the Uttar Pradesh batsmen quake in their boots.
Rattled by his hostile pace, disconcerting bounce and nagging line and length, Uttar Pradesh, who have conceded 15 wickets to Mithun in two games, protested against him for chucking.
However, the on-field umpires K K Hariharan and Sanjay Hazare overruled the allegation.
Mithun has already made a huge impact on the domestic circuit, gaining rave reviews from former greats, including Chandu Borde, who has the distinction of scoring two hundreds against the fearsome West Indian pace duo of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith.
As grapevine goes, selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth had explored the possibility of including him into the team for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh, but was advised to watch the speedy during the Duleep Trophy matches before taking the call.
Mithun, however, was not ready to think about anything but the forthcoming Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai, commencing in Mysore from January 11.
"I want Karnataka to win the title first. Then my focus would be on doing well in the Duleep Trophy," Mithun said.
"I will surely work hard and strive to make India proud when I get picked for the national team," Mithun signed off with the promise.