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Siddharth Kaul hopes consistency will earn him India berth

Siddharth Kaul has been bowling quite consistently of late and has performed for India A, Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

cricket Updated: Aug 12, 2017 13:34 IST
Shalini Gupta
Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul has been bowling consistently of late with the hope of getting selected for the Indian cricket team.
Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul has been bowling consistently of late with the hope of getting selected for the Indian cricket team.(HT Photo)

The plan is working out well for Punjab medium pacer Siddharth Kaul. After the high of Indian Premier League (IPL) in April and May, the 27-year-old had an impressive outing in the recently concluded limited overs tri-nation series involving India A, South Africa A and Afghanistan A in South Africa.

Part of the India A squad which clinched the one-day series, Siddharth scalped the second highest number of wickets (8), behind Shardul Thakur (9), for the Manish Pandey-led team. And what turned out to be most memorable for Siddharth was to get a pat on the back from coach Rahul Dravid.

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“Rahul Dravid sir appreciated the way I bowled in the series. He is a tremendous teacher and a great observer. He lauded the way I swung the ball both ways,” said Siddharth, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL-10 and claimed 16 wickets in 10 matches, thus playing a key role in his team’s surge along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“He said that I bowled similar to Bhuveshwar Kumar in the series and if Bhuvi paaji could be in the Indian team, I could be too. It was important for me to maintain consistency after IPL and deliver the goods in South Africa.”

Siddharth and other pacers like Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi attended a two-week camp at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore before flying out to South Africa.

India won four matches out of five to emerge champions in the tri-nation series. Siddharth shared the new ball with Shardul and also bowled in the death overs. He also credited his good performance to captain Pandey.

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“In IPL you have a lot of established cricketers around you. So sometimes you have to bowl according to their vision. Pandey bhai gave me all the freedom and told me to bowl to my plans. He believed in my abilities which further increased my confidence,” said Siddharth, whose best figures of 3/41 came against South Africa A in the third match.

“We got quick as well as flat wickets during the competition. It was a challenge to adjust to the changing conditions and bowl accordingly. I need to perform like this and maintain consistency. Also, there is no substitute for hard work. I am going to take part in the local Punjab cricket tournaments and aim to retain a berth in the India A team for a tour to New Zealand in coming months. I want to bag a place in the Indian ODI team.”

In the final, Siddharth provided early breakthroughs through a twin-strike and dented South Africa A’s chances of a huge total. India chased down a total of 268 runs.

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Siddharth had a superlative last season. He emerged as Punjab’s leading wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. He bagged 35 wickets in eight matches during the Ranji Trophy and scalped 12 in the five Vijay Hazare Trophy outings.

“Rahul Dravid sir’s words are running in my mind. I should make most of the chances now and aim for an India call-up. I want to do it for him,” said Siddharth.