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Exclusive Interview with Siddharth Kaul: My childhood dream is to play for the country

Imagine with all your mind, believe with all your heart and achieve with all your might is what cricketer Siddharth Kaul looks to do every time he plays the sport. When given the ball by his captain he grabs the opportunity with both hands… having a positive mindset this youngster is always on the hunt to pick wickets.

This bowler looks to give his hundred per cent each time he takes the field. He believes in sticking to his basics and keeping things simple. He has that knack for breaking partnerships and this is definitely the captains go to man in any situation. Along with bowling, he loves his batting too.

(Photo by Faheem Hussain / IPL/ SPORTZPICS/IPL)

The ‘S’ in his name always meant ‘success’… with sheer hard work, dedication, and determination he has climbed up the ladder.  Kaul made his first-class debut for Punjab in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season. He took a five-wicket haul in the first innings. He is best remembered for being a part of the victorious U-19 India team that went on to clinch the World Cup under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. CricFit.com author Binaisha M. Surti met this smart, confident yet intelligent cricketer and he spoke to her about his Ranji Trophy debut to playing for India in the under 19 World Cup, the IPL and further what was it like to meet the great man Sachin Tendulkar.

Siddharth comes from a cricketing family as his father played the sport and his brother Uday Kaul too is a cricketer. Initially, just like any other child Kaul too played tennis ball cricket and enjoyed playing in the bylanes along with friends. It was much later that he too went to the grounds, dressed in sparkling whites with a kit bag and decided that cricket was the sport for him. He realized it could be pursued on a professional level since he had the talent. On the other hand, he loves to play other games too.

(Photo by Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS/BCCI/IPL)

Having played a lot of age group cricket Siddharth loves being on the field. He added that his brother and father have been extremely supportive and as a result, he was always encouraged to do well and was never under any pressure to perform. On the other hand, his mother is his biggest strength, she pushes him to give his best and wants to see him do well. He believes that playing one of the under 17 tournaments changed his life in a big way as he was amongst heaps of wickets and the team won the tournament.

We then discussed as to how this lad evolved as a cricketer getting exposure in domestic cricket, the under 19 World Cup, IPL and finally India A. This youngster believes that experience starts building up from the grass root level…and further how hungry one is to play for their country. From childhood, his dream is to play for the country…but Test cricket comes first and is his favourite format. From the junior level, one has to take each day as it comes, some are lucky as they do get their chances while others have to patiently wait for theirs. It is all in the hands of destiny.

©Getty Images

On a happier note, we then shifted focus and spoke about the pleasant memories of winning the under 19 World Cup. Kaul said, he has great memories of that tournament and it was one of the biggest milestones of his life. He performed well in the tournament  & along with Iqbal Abdullah, was one of the highest wicket-takers for India. When Virat threw the ball to him in the last over he was nervous but on the other hand he finished things off for his state too so that gave him confidence. That tournament helped him mature as a player, it taught him to grasp situations and read the wickets well. The dressing room atmosphere was phenomenal as the boys believed that we had it in ourselves to win the cup.

Talking about his Ranji Trophy debut playing against Orissa he bagged 5/97 in the first innings…Sid, as he is fondly called stated that Punjab won that toss and decided to bowl first. With God’s grace, he picked up those wickets for his side. Definitely, it was a dream come true for a young player like him. That memory is still very fresh in his mind even today, as he recalls picking up a fifer for his side.

©BCCI

We were then keen to know what attracted him towards the art of fast bowling. He quickly adds that during his childhood he would watch cricketers and try and emulate their action in his bowling. His father saw that spark and advised him to try his hand at fast bowling. His typical mindset before a tournament is, that he always thinks about what goals he is looking to achieve as his aim is to improve every time he plays the sport. He also likes doing his homework by studying certain player’s strong and weak points.

Walking down memory lane Siddharth shared the most memorable moments of his cricketing journey with us. There are a few that he would always cherish for a long time to come. Firstly when Kaul became the best bowler at the under 17 level, then his selection in the under 19 World Cup. Further, the first five-wicket haul in his debut Ranji game, getting selected to play in the IPL, the India A call-up and finally getting 100 wickets in domestic cricket…a remarkable feat that was achieved by him this year itself.

It is always an added boost to have his brother Uday Kaul in team Punjab. As Uday is a far experienced player he guides and supports Siddharth all the way. He is a great teammate, friend, and guide…and is always looking to give good advice to his brother. The younger of the Kaul siblings, Siddharth has always admired Sachin Tendulkar as a player, later adding that he did get goosebumps when he met and spoke to the great man. It was an amazing feeling to receive some valuable tips from him. Meeting Sachin was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Playing in the IPL has been a great learning experience for him as he was lucky to have Saurav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, and McCullum who were very approachable. IPL has helped a lot of youngsters since it is a big platform where one gets to showcase their talent. Today he is looking forward to performing well for his team Sunrisers Hyderabad.

On a lighter note, he signed off by recalling a sweet fan moment which took place during his under 19 World Cup days. After the final game, a girl came up to him and handed him a card and a t-shirt. He was taken aback by her gesture but was humbled by it and in return gave his jersey to her.