Sport

Rising off-spinner Arjun Nair keen to strut his stuff in Prime Minister's XI match

 Arjun Nair has some reputation for an 18-year-old who only taught himself to bowl off-spin three years ago.

The teenager made his first-grade debut in Sydney as a 15-year-old batsman before deciding to chance his arm in the art of finger spin and finding phenomenal success.

On Wednesday Nair will add a Prime Minister's XI cap to an already impressive resume which includes appearances for Australia under-19, Cricket Australia XI, New South Wales and Sydney Thunder.

Nair has been turning heads over the past 12 months and in December showed why Cricket Australia are touting him as the next big thing when he took 8-17 from 19.3 overs playing for Hawkesbury.

The Canberra-born son of Indian immigrants quickly became one of NSW Premier Cricket's most promising talents and taught himself to bowl the doosra from watching YouTube clips of West Indian Sunil Narine.

"I started when I was 15, my batting was my main priority but I worked on my bowling in the backyard with dad as a bit of a hobby and it started out pretty well and went from there," Nair said.

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Nair left the capital when he was two years old but Wednesday won't be his first trip to Manuka Oval which has proven a happy hunting ground in the past.

"I made my Futures League debut there and took nine wickets. It's a good deck for me and hopefully I can have some more luck in the PM's game," Nair said.

Canberra's annual fixture drew criticism this summer after it was shuffled to the back of the Australian cricket calender and transformed into a Twenty20 match, but Nair is simply happy to be playing.

"I think it's a great opportunity for young players like me to showcase our skills against the better players and a good chance to show that we're up to that level," Nair said.

Nair is hoping for a healthy crowd Manuka on Wednesday night and said he will draw on his Big Bash experience if he gets nervous

"I'd never played in front of a big crowd before the Big Bash, so it's good to have got that out of the way and I'm looking forward to hopefully playing in front of a big crowd in Canberra," he said.

Nair made his third Sheffield Shield appearance for NSW on Friday and claimed the scalp of Queensland batsman Michael Neser on day three, trapping him lbw.

"My goals this summer were to play a Big Bash game and try to get a few more Shield games, so it's going pretty well, I just need to keep working hard," he said.

Michael Clarke will coach the PM XI, while veteran Australian batsman Adam Voges is set to skipper the side with Nair is keen to soak up as much knowledge as he can.

"I bowled to Clarke during the world cup as a net bowler, but I haven't really spoken to him at all so it will be good meeting him and everyone in the squad, I'm looking forward to it," he said.