Siddarth Kaul’s consistent performances over the past year has earned him a maiden national call-up to the Indian team on Monday. Kaul, who was a part of the 2008 Indian under-19 team (led by Virat Kohli) which won the World Cup, has been selected for the ODI series against Sri Lanka which begins from December 10. He has replaced Shardul Thakur, who was part of the ODI squad against New Zealand. Kaul had recently picked up a five-wicket haul in the Ranji Trophy for Punjab and had also bowled well for the India A side which took on New Zealand last month. But it was his performances in the IPL for SunRisers Hyderabad which made everyone sit up and take notice of the Punjab lad. Particularly, in a match against Rising Pune Supergiants, Kaul impressed with figures of 4-0-24-4 and picked up the wicket of MS Dhoni. Later on, he also endured a fruitful campaign during the series involving India A, South Africa A and Afghanistan A where he finished as the third-highest wicket-taker.
Kaul is renowned for his variations with the white ball and this has been the key to his success in the shortest format. His nippy yorkers in the death overs has also earned him plaudits. While he started playing cricket in 1996 it was only in 2007 that he made his first-class debut for Punjab against Orissa. In his debut, Kaul claimed his maiden five-wicket haul. Till date, he has featured in 50 first-class matches and scalped 175 wickets at an average of 27. In 52 List A matches, he has scalped 98 wickets at an average of 22.20. He also has ten fifers in first-class matches and four five-wicket hauls in List A games.
However, on Monday Kaul received the news of his India call-up in a highly unusual circumstance as he was informed of his selection by an on-field umpire of during the match between Punjab and Services.
“It was drinks break at that time and one of the umpires came up to me and said that match referee sir (Chaturvedi) had informed that I have been selected in the Indian ODI squad. I didn’t know how to react at that moment. It was the biggest piece of news in my cricketing career and I got it on field,” Kaul told PTI.
“I was always hopeful that if I keep performing, I would get my share of chances. Yes, it was a great feeling to win the U-19 World Cup but all these years I knew that good performance at the domestic level would be rewarded. I had to focus on being consistent in domestic cricket. That was my endeavour and this is a reward for that,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kaul began his cricketing career alongside his brother Uday. Together they have represented the Punjab Ranji Trophy team. Incidentally, his father, Dr Tej Kaul, also played first-class cricket for Jammu and Kashmir.
Kaul has always maintained that his father had an instrumental role in shaping his career. “My father Dr Tej Kaul has always been my coach. Even today any technical difficulty I have with my bowling, I consult him. Also it helps that my elder brother Uday has been an established first-class cricketer and a wicketkeeper. When your brother is a wicketkeeper, you get first-hand input about how the ball is releasing out of your hand,” Kaul had said.
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