Whether it is with the cricket ball or in the classroom, Hunar Verma enjoys solving problems.

The third-year engineering student is nearing the end of his first season as a NSW Blue, training alongside cricketers he idolised growing up, learning as much as he can.

“I have found it an absolutely incredible experience to be honest,” the 20-year-old fast bowler said.

“A couple of months ago, I was told I was bowling in the same net as Pat Cummins and bowling to Steve Smith ... just to train with such incredible players and learn from them has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

Verma is studying Mechatronic Engineering at UNSW, the ultimate in problem solving.

It is a subject which involves applying complex theories to the development of next-generation robotic systems and autonomous vehicles.

“Whenever it came to writing essays for English (at Sydney Boys High), I didn’t find myself enjoying it, the way I did physics and maths.

“You’d spend 20-30 minutes solving a math problem, or physics problem, and you’d solve it in the end. That’s something I really enjoyed.

Having always been a problem solver, engineering was somewhat a natural route for Verma.

“From there, I was looking through my options, and mechatronics was something that really interested me, (especially) automation.

“Just the automation of things in daily life, from building robots to vacuum cleaners. There’s unlimited possibilities with what you can do with this sort of degree.”

That interest then goes to the next level.

“(The Artificial Intelligence) aspect really intrigues me as well and where that can go in the future.”

This season the right-arm quick is learning from one of the Blues’ best ever, in Trent Copeland, on how to solve a bowler’s greatest problem – how to get a batter out?

“During the BBL period, most of the Blues players were (involved in the BBL) and there were about seven or eight players who weren’t.

“Because there were less players, you had more individual time with the coaches and I got to do a lot of work with Trent. He’s been absolutely awesome to work with.”

Copeland recently claimed his 400th First Class wicket, with 337 of his now 403 coming for NSW placing him fourth all-time list for the state.

“Just to be able to work with him, especially on my red ball game. Every session we’ve been bowling in the same net, just discussing how to get (batters) out, what sort of fields to set,” Verma said.

“I’ve picked up so much off him in those two months when everyone was at BBL.

Verma has taken 32 First Grade wickets for club side Blacktown, this season, and 10 wickets in two Second XI matches at a very acceptable average of 23.1 runs per wicket.

“I’ve really developed my skillset, even my tactical understanding of the game, that’s something I didn’t really explore before getting into the Blues,” Verma said, who is a product of the Cricket NSW underage pathways system.

“Now I’m starting to think a bit more critically about my game, having worked with people like Trent.

“I’ve found it really, really good to be able to develop the tactical side, just starting to think about more ways of how to get the batter out.”

Parallels in mindset are obvious between Verma’s degree and his cricket.

“Getting a (batter) out is sort of solving a problem in itself,” he said. “There’s different tactics, there’s different methods, so I guess in that sense (the study) helps my critical thinking.”

“(At the end of the day) solving the problem of how to get a batter out, it’s just another problem for me to solve and it’s just something I love to do.”

Fast bowler Hunar Verma in action for club side Blacktown, Credit: Cricket NSW-Blacktown Mounties Cricket Club.