It’s a dream come true for 23-year-old Punjab medium pacer Siddharth Kaul. The quick, who had a successful season last year in Ranji Trophy, has been named in the India-A squad, which will tour South Africa from August 8 to 27.
The ‘A’ team will be captained by Cheteshwar Pujara, and also includes the top wicket-getter of the 2012-13 Ranji season, Ishwar Pandey. Delighted by news, Siddharth, who took 44 wickets in nine matches and was the second highest wicket-taker in India, said he is ready to give his best.
“I would like to thank my father, mother and elder brother (Uday Kaul) for being a pillar of support during my struggle,” said Siddharth, who played for Delhi Daredevils in the recently concluded T20 tournament.
While Siddharth’s father Tej Kaul is a cricket coach and had played first-class cricket for Jammu and Kashmir, his elder brother Uday is a wicketkeeper/batsman and has been a regular member of the Punjab Ranji team.
Siddharth was also part of India under-19 squad, which won the 2008 under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. Playing an instrumental role in a successful campaign, he took 10 wickets.
Plagued by injuries, Siddharth made a comeback into the Punjab Ranji squad last year. “I would also like to thank Punjab Cricket Association for supporting me and believing in my abilities,” the pacer said.
Kaul made his first-class debut for Punjab in 2007-08 against Orissa and took 5 for 97. “I am following a strict fitness regimen and the focus is to give my best,” Siddharth said.
While Siddharth has been included just in the India-A squad, J&K spinner Pravez Rasool has also made it to Team India apart from India-A squad for tours to Zimbabwe and South Africa. Haryana seamer Mohit Sharma has also made it to India team.