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Nine years after U-19 run, Siddarth finally gets his Kaul of duty

The right-arm medium pacer was playing against Services in the Ranji Trophy on Monday when he learned about his inclusion in Team India.

Published: 29th November 2017 01:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2017 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Sunrisers Hyderabad cricketer Siddarth Kaul celebrates the wicket of Kings XI Punjab cricketer Axar Patel during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Punjab Cricket Association Cric

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: What could be the best way for a cricketer to receive the news that he/she has been named in the India squad? The answer is probably ‘on the field’. Right-arm medium pacer Siddarth Kaul was exactly there, playing against Services in a Ranji Trophy encounter on Monday when he received the information that he had been included in the Indian team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, which begins on December 10.

One of the on-field umpires passed on the news to the 27-year-old Punjab speedster. “I was not even aware that there was a selectors’ meeting taking place.

"I was fully invested in the match. I am very happy,” the pacer told Express on phone.

Though Siddarth has finally passed the litmus test to break into the team, it has taken a while. It has been nearly a decade since he bowled in the 2008 U-19 World Cup final, which India won. Some of those kids have gone on to win a plethora of awards and praise for the senior national team: Virat Kohli is the best example.

Kaul had to wait. So, did he ever feel frustrated, considering that he made his First Class debut way back in 2007?

“I believe in one match at a time. I’ve always tried to learn from my mistakes and concentrated on the process, not the result,” he said. His exploits in this year’s IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad grabbed a lot of eyeballs, as he regularly bowled yorkers with utmost precision in the death overs.

The 16 wickets he scalped in 10 T20s helped him get placed in the India A squads for the South Africa tour and later for a home series against New Zealand.

The performance was enough for selectors to take notice. Asked whether the IPL stint helped his case, Kaul said that his entire career was the actual reason behind his call-up.

“I have been bowling my heart out throughout. The IPL exposed me to international-level cricketers. I do not believe the call has come because of the IPL.”

Sports was always a likely career option, with his family involved in the same.

“My father was a physio for the Indian team and a former Ranji cricketer. My mother is a former gymnastics champion. My brother Uday plays Ranji with me. Having so many sportspersons helped.” Punjab’s campaign came to an end with a draw, but the pacer is in no mood to relax.

“I will continue training and keep a watch on my fitness,” said Kaul, who is yet to know the date when he is supposed to join the India squad.

vishal@newindianexpress.com

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