Siddarth Kaul of Sunrisers Hyderabad bowls during the Indian Premier League match against Rising Pune Supergiant at the MCA Stadium in Pune on April 22.(BCCI)
Siddarth Kaul of Sunrisers Hyderabad bowls during the Indian Premier League match against Rising Pune Supergiant at the MCA Stadium in Pune on April 22.(BCCI)

How MS Dhoni’s thrashing made Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Siddarth Kaul wiser

MS Dhoni knocked off 15 runs for Rising Pune Supergiant in the final over against Siddharth Kaul and the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer, who had won two games against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils in similar situations before, thinks it has made him a better bowler.
Chandigarh | By Shalini Gupta
UPDATED ON MAY 11, 2017 08:13 PM IST

Bowling the last over of the match to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the best finishers in limited-overs cricket, is a lesson Siddarth Kaul will never forget.

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Dhoni took on the Sunrisers Hyderabad pace bowler and knocked off the 15 runs needed in the final over, winning the game off the last delivery.

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Siddarth Kaul, who had won the previous two games for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils from almost similar situations, thinks the thrashing at the hands of Dhoni can make him a better bowler.

Little scope vs Dhoni

The 26-year-old told HT: “It is very challenging to bowl at Mahi bhai when he is in blazing form. I tried different variations and changed the field placements, but he just went after the bowlers and snatched the match from us.”

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There was a silver lining though. Dhoni came to Kaul after the match and said, “Acha ball kar raha hai tu. Pace bhi bhadd gaya hai tera aur yorkers bhi ache jaa rahe hain. Aise hee sharp ball rakh.” (You have been bowling well. The pace has increased and your yorkers are also accurate. Keep bowling sharply like this).”

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner and coach Tom Moody have shown faith in the pacer, asking him to bowl the last over in the last three games. He bowled a yorker to get Ishant Sharma’s wicket in the last over of the match against Kings XI Punjab to help his team win.

Confidence in Kaul

“Warner knows me since we played together for Delhi Daredevils. Yuvi paaji has seen me bowl for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy in the last three-four years. So, he has best idea about my capabilities. In fact, he has been pushing me to go out there and bowl to my strength.

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“There are far more established bowlers in the team, still they have shown faith in me by giving the last over, that too in a T20 format,” said Kaul.

Siddarth Kaul has played 45 first-class matches and taken 163 wickets. He was included in the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup where he claimed a fifer in one match.

Like batsman Manan Vohra, his Punjab teammate, Kaul is also trying to get mentally tough to handle pressure better. “The mental toughness has helped me execute my skills, especially in the crunch situations. There have been injuries and selection disappointments which reflect in your performance. To let go of such mental blocks, I took to mental conditioning,” said Kaul, who was in the victorious 2008 India U-19 World Cup team in Malaysia led by Virat Kohli.

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He has combined well with Sunrisers Hyderabad spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar, especially in the death overs.

When Kings XI Punjab take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali on Friday, Kaul would be hoping for a perfect home coming, by repeating his performance against the team at a ground where he has played most of his cricket.

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