Siddharth Kaul’s cricket journey to the senior team hasn’t been smooth enough unlike his U-19 teammates Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. The Punjab pacer is still trying to figure out his place in the Indian team.
With 10 wickets from five games, Kaul was the joint-highest wicket-taker for India with Jadeja and Iqbal Abdulla in the 2008 U-19 World Cup, which India had won under Kohli’s captaincy in Malaysia.
However, Kaul had to wait for five years to make his way in the India A team for South Africa tour in 2013. Kaul, who was 23 at that point, could only play one match in that tour but returned with a couple of wickets.
Kaul’s luck in the Indian Premier League also didn’t work initially as he got to play just 11 games for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the combined seasons of 2013 & 2014.
But the deadlock was broken in 2017 when he was roped in by Sunrisers Hyderabad and he used his knuckleballs, one of his sharpest weapons, to deceive the batters. Kaul ended up with 16 wickets in that season.
Siddharth Kaul got to play for India a decade after the U19 WC triumph
Following his impressive performance with the Orange Army, he was re-purchased by the franchise for IPL 2018 and he became a core part of their bowling unit along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan. Kaul claimed 21 wickets from 17 games in that year, which happens to be his best IPL season to date.
His great run in IPL earned him his maiden call-up for the senior Indian team for the United Kingdom tour just after the IPL 2018. He made his T20I debut against Ireland and also played in the final T20I against England.
I want to give 110 per cent for the team: Siddharth
His international career has been limited to just three T20I matches and as many ODI games which might make one feel like an injustice to his talent. But Kaul is someone who holds a ‘never give up’ kind of attitude.
Even at the age of 31, where most players have already embraced fame in their careers, the Punjab pacer was hoping to be selected for the India A team and wants to give his every ounce of energy to justify his passion for the game.
“Whenever I am playing any tournament and there is selection coming up for the A team, my hopes get high. Because I want to give 110 per cent for the team whether it’s domestic or IPL season and that reflects on my performance. I love the game and have a passion for the game. So whenever the selection is on the radar I always get hopeful because it’s necessary to be prepared for the occasion,” Kaul was quoted as saying by CricketCountry earlier in June this year.
When I fail I have a smile on my face: Siddharth Kaul
However, the player’s misfortune continues to haunt him as he wasn’t included in India A squad for the South Africa tour this month as the BCCI has named some promising youngsters like Umran Malik and Arzan Nagwaswalla in the squad.
Kaul picked 10 wickets from five matches in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Punjab, who bowed out of the tournament after finishing third on the points table of Elite Group A behind Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
By the end of Round 5 of SMAT 2021, Kaul is the seventh-highest wicket-taker in the tournament at an economy rate of 6.64. Kaul has accounted for a total of 232 First-Class wickets, 27 of them were picked in the 2020 Ranji season in just five games.
Kaul was expecting himself to be included in India’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July but the player was left dejected after he couldn’t find his name in the squad.
“I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. And when I fail I have the smile on my face which motivates me to work even harder,” the 31-year-old had written on his Twitter handle after being snubbed by the selectors for the Sri Lanka tour.
Looking at Kaul’s stats in domestic cricket, he definitely deserved a place in the India A team and his perseverance is something that will push him to come back on the pitch and keep fighting for his dream.