Siddharth Kaul will face stiff competition from Hardik Pandya

Updated: 09 December, 2017 15:55 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

Punjab pacer Siddarth Kaul, who has been selected for ODI series against SL, will face stiff competition from all-rounder Hardik Pandya for a place in the India team

This is perhaps the toughest time for a fast bowler to break through in the Indian cricket team. India has predominantly relied heavily on its spin artillery over the years. As far as fast bowling was concerned, it was largely dependent on greats like Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and later Zaheer Khan.

India's Siddarth Kaul (left) with Hardik Pandya during a practice session at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala yesterday. pic/PTI 

However, in the last few years, the Indian team has witnessed some high quality pace bowling which can deliver the goods with consistency. All the frontline pacers -- Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami -- have been performing in unison. Such has been their consistency that an experienced bowler like Ishant Sharma is now considered as a back up option when it comes to Test cricket.

India's devastating duo
In limited overs cricket, Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah have dominated and have performed with consistency. Like spinners, they too hunt in pairs. After experimenting with Shardul Thakur, the national selectors have now introduced Punjab pacer Siddarth Kaul in the mix.

Kaul, 27, comes into the squad on the basis of his fabulous performances with the India ‘A’ and the Indian Premier League.
Kaul claimed six wickets in two one-day matches to end up as the third highest wicket-taker for India ‘A’ against their New Zealand counterparts. In the triangular series between India ‘A’, South Africa ‘A’ and Afghanistan ‘A’, Kaul picked eight wickets in four matches.

Rose for Sunrisers
In the last IPL, he finished with 16 wickets in 10 matches at an economy rate of 8.41 for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In three Ranji Trophy matches for Punjab, Kaul claimed 13 wickets. He will not just have to compete with Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar, who are his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates as well, but will also face stiff competition from Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Kaul, however, is not losing his sleep over the fierce competition he faces to retain his spot in the Indian team, considering that there will be limited chances that may come his way. "I will continue with my process. I will continue doing what I did in the past when I was with the India ‘A’ team or in the IPL. I will keep doing the same thing. I will look forward to what the team demands and will try to give my best," said Kaul.

Kaul felt he can put his domestic experience to great use in international cricket. "The places where I have picked like India ‘A’ and IPL, in those matches I have done well. The experience of domestic cricket – I have been playing domestic cricket for the last five years and that too has helped me. I have learnt to bowl in various circumstances and different pitches like a green top, flat wicket or pitches that help spinners," said Kaul.

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First Published: 09 December, 2017 11:51 IST

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