Fighter to the core, Praveen Kumar eyes India comeback

  • Sharad Deep, Hindustan Times, Kanpur
  • Updated: May 19, 2016 22:32 IST
Gujarat Lions’ Praveen Kumar (right) is eyeing a comeback to the India team. (AFP)

Only a few know that Praveen Kumar did not wear a sock on the right foot in domestic matches as he felt a pinch in the ankle.

“I didn’t like it (pinch) when I started playing as I wanted to stay away from hurdles and focus on my bowling. The habit stays and even today I don’t think of anything else when I’m bowling,” Praveen told HT.

“I go to the ground with only success on the mind and try to do my best. Sometimes, I feel bad when I don’t get the desired results in bowling,” he said ahead of the Gujarat Lions match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.

Adept at swing bowling, Praveen, who hails from Meerut, hoped his consistent showing would earn him a recall to the India team soon. “I have been consistently doing well in all formats in domestic cricket, and I hope I will make it to Team India again one day,” said Praveen, 29, who has taken 82 wickets, including seven for Gujarat Lions this season, in 109 IPL matches.

India’s best bowler during India’s disastrous Test of England in 2011, Praveen has his name on Lord’s honours’ board, and that reminds him of one of the best moments of his career. “That was the most memorable occasion for me and the performance in the 2007-08 CN Series in Australia was a big boost to my confidence.”

He also accepted that staging a comeback to the India team wasn’t easy as the competition was tough. “I am 110 percent fit and bowling well. My duty is to play good cricket, it’s up to the selectors to decide my fate,” said the lanky bowler, adding, “I am a fighter and I have always fought it out on my own ever since I started playing.”

Known for his “tough attitude”, Praveen has mellowed with time. “It’s a baseless allegation that I keep fighting with people,” he said. “My tone sounds a bit rough, but that’s the case with every individual from Meerut. Even when you say something passionately it sounds rough to the others. That’s not my problem as it is in-built.”

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