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HomeSportCricketMeet Saurabh Kumar, the new face in India’s Test squad

Meet Saurabh Kumar, the new face in India’s Test squad


The Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner stop the Air Force to pursue his ambition of enjoying skilled cricket

The Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner stop the Air Force to pursue his ambition of enjoying skilled cricket

Seven years again, the then 21-year-old Saurabh Kumar confronted a typical profession dilemma — pursue his ardour or safe a secure future.

Employed with the Indian Air Force on sports activities quota, Saurabh was at the crossroads. He had a safe central authorities job with all the perks however his coronary heart pushed him to play skilled cricket and earn that coveted India jersey.

“There comes a moment in life when you have to take a decision. Jo bhi ho lena padhta hai,” the 28-year-old orthodox left-arm spinner and latest entrant to the Indian Test squad informed PTI.

“It was a tough decision to quit playing Ranji Trophy for the Services. I loved being an Indian Air Force man and part of Indian defence but there was a part of me that felt that I have it in me to work hard and play for India,” the cricketer, who hails from UP’s Baghpat District, mentioned.

“I was posted in Delhi. I played for Services in the Ranji Trophy for one year (2014-15 season) when Rajat Palliwal was our captain.

“Since I used to be a sports activities quota entry, I did not must do any responsibility other than play for Services. If I had stop cricket, then I might have needed to do full-time responsibility,” he recollected the old days.

Hailing from a middle-class family, his father worked as a JE (Junior Engineer) at All India Radio. His parents were firmly supportive of his decision to trade profession with passion.

“It is superb that after I informed my dad and mom that I’m leaving the Air-force job, they did not for as soon as requested me to rethink. Both have been very supportive of my alternative.

“It was my decision to leave IAF but when I saw that my parents were supportive, I got a lot of confidence to independently pursue my dream,” Saurabh mentioned.

Daily commute to Delhi

There is one thing about left-arm spinners that makes them particular and one in every of the character traits is the doggedness which Saurabh believes that he had in abundance.

“Now, we stay in Ghaziabad but during those early days of playing cricket in Delhi, it was a big ordeal. In my town Baraut in Baghpat district, we didn’t have great coaching facilities. So I had to take a daily train to come to Delhi for my training at National Stadium,” he mentioned.

For the uninitiated, Saurabh’s coach is Sunita Sharma, the solely feminine cricket Droancharya in India, whose different notable disciple is former keeper Deep Dasgupta.

“If I had a 2:00pm afternoon nets. I left home at 10 am in the morning. It would be a three and half hour train journey and another half an hour to reach the stadium. And same while coming back. It was tough but that’s what helped me when I look back,” mentioned the man, who had 95 wickets in final two first-class seasons (2018-19, 2019-20).

“When you are 15 or 16 years old, you don’t realise. Aap mein junoon itna hota hai, ki kuch bhi aapko mushkil nahi agta hai (When you have so much passion, nothing looks difficult).”

Training beneath Bishan Singh Bedi

One of the turning factors for Saurabh as a younger cricketer was coming beneath legendary Bishan Singh Bedi’s tutelage. Back in the day, Bedi used to organise summer season camps and quite a lot of children practiced over there.

“Bedi sir liked what he saw in my bowling. He introduced me to the world of nuance about little things on grip and stuff. No major changes as he liked my action and loved the areas I bowled into.

“One factor that occurred throughout these summer season camps was I bought an opportunity to bowl tons of of overs. Bedi sir had one mantra ” Mehnat mein kaami nahi honi chhaiye“. There must be no shortcut to success,” he added.

Once he entered the UP age-group teams, it was former state keeper Manoj Mudgal, who backed him a lot and the result is 196 wickets and 1572 runs from 46 first-class games.

Saurabh during his two seasons of 51 and 44 wickets had once got a call-up for Irani Cup which had to be called off due to COVID-19 in 2020.

“When I used to be picked for Rest of India, I knew that I’m now on the radar of selectors. I had been bowing fairly properly and was assured however then it did not occur and I misplaced my probability to showcase my expertise in Irani Cup.” But he continued working hard.

“I can work onerous for lengthy hours with none fuss.” Life was about to change as he finally got an India A call-up to go to South Africa and played two A Tests in Bloemfontein. He must have impressed the coaches as the senior team then kept him as a standby bowler for the Test series.

“It was a dream come true as I bought an opportunity to bowl to the senior India gamers like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul. It was an enormous studying curve for me. They gave worthwhile ideas that can assist me enhance as a bowler.”

No IPL bids, no regrets

₹Saurabh was as soon as picked for ₹10 lakh by Rising Pune Supergiants again in 2017 however this time, days earlier than his maiden India call-up, he went unsold at the IPL auctions. But he has no regrets.

“Not even one percent regret. This is life. Zindagi mein upar neeche toh hota rahega. Zaroorat hai toh lage rehne ka (There will be ups and down in life. All you need is to hang on.). I am doing just that,” he signed off.



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