Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 27
Siddarth Kaul was part of the Virat Kohli-led team that won the U-19 World Cup way back in 2008. Ever since, Kohli has arguably become the best batsman in the world; Ravindra Jadeja, another member of that team, is among the leading Test all-rounders. Even in the Punjab team, Kaul’s juniors Sandeep Sharma and Barinder Sran went on to play for India ahead of him.
So it must have been pretty tough for the 27-year-old Punjab pacer to not get discouraged, keep performing and keep believing that he would get India call someday. Finally, that elusive call came on Monday, when he was busy pushing his side into a position of strength against Services in their Ranji Trophy tie. “The call has taken a while to come but Siddarth was always motivated and hopeful,” said Siddarth’s elder brother Uday Kaul, Punjab’s wicketkeeper batsman.
“The best thing about him is, he’s never affected by what others are doing. He just focuses on his game, works very hard, and finally he has been rewarded.”
Arun Sharma, a former Punjab coach, feels Kaul has improved a lot in the last couple of years. “He has always been good with swinging the ball, he could move it both ways. Of late, he has increased his pace and bowls consistently in the high 130s, which has made him very effective,” said Sharma. “He has been picking wickets on unhelpful tracks, too, so I think the opportunity has come at the right time, he’s ready to make it count.”
While Kaul has been doing well for Punjab and India A, the time he spent with Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in Sunrisers Hyderabad seems to have done wonders for him. In the last edition of the IPL, he looked very impressive. “It really helped him. He’s very experienced now, bowling with Ashish and Bhuvneshwar helped him grow,” said Uday.
With Kaul probably at his best in terms of his skills and mindset, the late call may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Wankhede visits NCB’s Delhi office; now faces phone-tapping ...