Siddharth Kaul has revealed India A coach Rahul Dravid lavished praise on him and backed him to make it to the senior team after his starring role for India A in the recently-concluded tri-series in South Africa. The Punjab pacer, who was in the team when India lifted the Under-19 World Cup in 2008, was India’s second highest wicket-taker with 8 scalps to his name as the Manish Pandey-led side thrashed the Proteas by 7 wickets in the final to clinch the series.
“Rahul Dravid sir appreciated the way I bowled in the series. He is a tremendous teacher and a great observer. He lauded the way I swung the ball both ways,” Siddharth was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
“He said that I bowled similar to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the series and if Bhuvi paaji could be in the Indian team, I could be too. It was important for me to maintain consistency after IPL and deliver the goods in South Africa,” he added.
Kaul was picked up in the India A squad after his impressive outing in the Indian Premier League. Plying his trade for Sunrisers Hyderabad, the right-arm pacer took an impressive 16 wickets in 10 matches and played an integral role in the side’s march to the playoffs.
Kaul further credited his captain Manish Pandey for his good performance.
“In IPL you have a lot of established cricketers around you. So sometimes you have to bowl according to their vision. Pandey bhai gave me all the freedom and told me to bowl to my plans. He believed in my abilities which further increased my confidence,” said Siddharth.
“We got quick as well as flat wickets during the competition. It was a challenge to adjust to the changing conditions and bowl accordingly. I need to perform like this and maintain consistency. Also, there is no substitute for hard work. I am going to take part in the local Punjab cricket tournaments and aim to retain a berth in the India A team for a tour to New Zealand in coming months. I want to bag a place in the Indian ODI team,” he added.
Prior to the IPL, Kaul enjoyed a fruitful outing in the domestic circuit as he finished the Ranji Trophy as Punjab’s leading wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. He picked up 35 wickets in eight matches during the Ranji Trophy and 12 in the five Vijay Hazare Trophy games.
“Rahul Dravid sir’s words are running in my mind. I should make most of the chances now and aim for an India call-up. I want to do it for him,” he concluded.