After being selected for the Indian team for the second Test against England, which begins in Visakhapatnam on Friday, Saurabh Kumar’s life abruptly changed on Monday. He is a seasoned player in domestic cricket. As a journeyman with the Indian squad during the home series against Sri Lanka in 2022, the 30-year-old left-arm spinner may finally stoke his dreams of donning a national cap.
Kumar Says “Being a member of the Indian team has always been a goal. Which cricket player wouldn’t want that? It requires a lot of coordination, but I have some expertise”.
The Uttar Pradesh spinner’s debut in Visakhapatnam ahead of Washington Sundar or Kuldeep Yadav is not guaranteed, of course. Though many of his kind have long yearned for the opportunity, at least he now has another chance to mingle with legendary figures in Indian cricket, like Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin.
It is not every day you are going to get a chance to bowl at performances with the likes of Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma and this more especially will be true if you are a domestic player since they hardly play any Ranji Trophy or other First-Class matches being busy for their Indian cricket team commitments. Therefore, getting an opportunity to spend a little bit of time around the opportunity of bowling and talking with some world-class players was just a memorable occasion. He elaborates by saying that, there was so much knowledge to be learnt from them.
Bishan sir (late Bishan Singh Bedi) used to advise me to keep working hard and stay mentally prepared, content with keeping my best whenever a chance arises. I never stop myself from practicing or bowling out of nets, Saurabh said. He enrolled himself in Bedi’s summer camp in the capital city of Delhi to sharpen his skills keeping a close watch on him by the master.
Kumar is an excellent player and a good reader of the game and situations. He can make adjustments towards his line length. He has received plenty of knowledge in bowling under these circumstances and against some outstanding domestic players such as Pujara or Mayank who bring a big total. He has also developed his batting skills and can be useful by chipping in some handy runs lower down the order.
Saurabh has played a total of 68 First-Class matches and in his taken 290 wickets with a best bowling performance of picking up 8/64. In addition, Saurabh is a useful batsman to warm the benches and has accounted for 12 half-centuries and two centuries. Saurabh is a regular player for India A and recently has impressed on conditions forming against South Africa A at Potchefstroom where he took four wickets. Riding on this success, he then continued to perform well in the match versus England Lions, securing six wickets and contributing with the bat. He chalked up 77 runs scoring. He made a well-rounded game which was an important deed in India A’s success, India won by 215 runs.
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