A great domestic season has pushed Punjab medium-pacer Siddharth Kaul further inch closer to his dream of wearing the India blues,as he been included in the Indian 30 probables list for the Champions Trophy to be held in England from June 8. Kaul,who bagged 44 wickets during the Ranji Trophy season to emerge as the second highest wicket taker,also grabbed 8 and 16 wickets respectively in the Vijay Hazare (ODI) and Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20) tournaments for Punjab and,as if a contract with the Delhi Daredevils wasn’t enough,the 22-year old will be over the moon after his efforts were acknowledged by the national selectors.
An excited Kaul spoke to Sportline over phone from Delhi about his inclusion in the India probables list. He said,”It is wonderful to have made it to the probables of the Champions Trophy. I guess my performances during the domestic season have paid dividends. I have always believed that there is no substitute for hard work and I think my dedication and hard work has worked for me. I might have played for India U-19 team back in 2008,but I lost the way due injuries. Now,I am back on track to make my dream come true. I am not sure whether I will make the final cut or not,but getting noticed in itself is a proud moment for me. I hope very soon,I will be in the India team and bowling in the national colours.”
It may be recalled that Kaul was part of the U-19 World Cup Indian team that won in Malaysia back in 2008 with players like Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the ranks. While both of these players have cemented their places in the India ODI and Test teams,players like Kaul have been restricted to domestic challenges. Kaul who made his Ranji debut in 2008,miss out on a lot of cricket due to multiple injuries. So in a way,Kaul had a fairytale comeback at the domestic circuit. Despite doing so well for Punjab in the season,Kaul was disappointed at not having been selected either in the Board President XI or India A teams selected last month for the visiting Australia team.
Thereafter,Kaul bowled well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and bagged lot of wickets to round-off the season in style.
“I have always loved challenges. Since my Ranji debut,I have seen highs and lows of life. I have been rejected,sidelined and ignored. Then niggling injuries further pushed me backwards. I was frustrated and depressed but I took everything in my stride. My family stood by me and told me to keep moving on with honesty and a positive approach,” added Siddharth. His father,Dr Tej Kaul,has been his and brother Uday Kaul’s coach.
The IPL has given him a chance to share the dressing room with bowlers like South African Morne Morkel,Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav. A successful IPL stint ahead of the Champions Trophy would provide an ideal platform to Siddharth to hog some limelight playing in the T20 league. “IPL might have provided a foundation to some cricketers,but I strongly believe that when you play for your state and zone,it is then when you are noticed. Having said that,I will be gunning for success during the IPL. It would be great to do well for DD. I am keeping my fingers crossed.”