Home > Features >

Praveen Kumar believes making comeback for India is not difficult

Praveen Kumar © Getty Images
Praveen Kumar went unsold in the IPL 2014 auction © Getty Images

By G Krishnan

The grey beard and the nascent pot belly is quite misleading as Praveen Kumar is only 27 years old. It’s been two years since he vanished from scheme of things as far as playing for India is concerned. But the change in appearance is dramatic.

With a lineage that boasts of wrestlers, Praveen appears out of sorts but in his mind he nurses the kind of confidence that would make grapplers proud and the attitude that helped him make the journey from dusty play grounds near Meerut to the razzmatazz of Indian cricket.

“Coming back to the Indian team is not difficult,” he said nonchalantly. Thankfully, that aspect of his character is intact.

Coming back from a shoulder injury that kept him away fromaction for most part of the domestic season that concluded on Monday with his team finishing runners-up in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20, Praveen is confident of working his way back to the Indian team.

Praveen was meeting and greeting familiar faces at the Wankhede Stadium. After the match, he changed from Uttar Pradesh colours and put on his team India practice jersey that he must have got two years ago. It still had the then sponsor Sahara logo on it.

Praveen, who has been part of the IPL in each of the first six editions – first three for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the next three for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) – is now focussing on working on his fitness and be ready for the next season and be in contention for an Indian berth.

“Everything is going fine now and I just hope that I will stay as fit as possible,” Praveen said. “I was not aware of the shoulder pain earlier and I was suddenly out of action. Now I am fit, getting into rhythm with the T20 matches.”

It was largely for his injury that the franchises did not show interest in Kumar for this Indian Premier League (IPL). It may also have got to do with him playing his last international match in March 2012 and has done nothing remarkably to keep the selectors interested.

“It is difficult not being part of the IPL but will get back there soon. But what is important is that get fully fit first. I am confident of returning to IPL,” said Praveen, who has been a prominent figure in each of the previous teams that he has played for.

“My IPL experience has been good. Bowling to such big players there gives you a different level of confidence. I learned a lot in IPL. Everyday there was something new to learn,” he said.

UP coach and former India medium-pacer BK Venkatesh Prasad lamented about the absence of infrastructure for cricketers in the state. “The only thing that is lacking with UP team is fitness. You need to haveinfrastructure like gym, practice facilities,” Prasad had said.

Praveen did agree with Prasad but did not consider it as a serious problem. “Each state has its own shortcomings. The players have it upon themselves to work on their fitness. Nobody will take you holding your hands. We have to take it upon ourselves and work on fitness and keep playing. As far as I am concerned, I have 4-5 months on hand. I will do training and concentrate on my fitness, doing gym sessions.”

The UP cricketer showed signs of becoming an all-rounder but has done little justice to his batting skills. It was evident in the T20 final when UP needed 11 runs off the final over. Praveen swung and missed two of them while playing the other one back to bowler Rishi Arothe. Kumar said that he would not ignore his batting.

Known more for his useful swingers, Praveen said he is working hard to be a meaningful all-rounder. “I am giving importance to batting also,” he said.

(G Krishnan qualified as an umpire from Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in 1997 before making sports journalism as a career. His other interests include wildlife and reading. Krishnan is Principal Correspondent of DNA, where the article first appeared)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 6 wkts

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Chennai Super Kings’ likely XI

CLT20 2014: Why Mumbai Indians failed to recreate the magic

Bangladesh Bangladesh tour of West Indies 2014 Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Lahore Lions Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014

Gautam Gambhir : KKR’s CLT20 campaign is for Jammu and Kashmir

Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan focused on ICC World Cup 2015 preparations

Jerome Taylor picks up his 100th Test wicket

CLT20 2014: Kings XI Punjab aim to start well against Hobart Hurricanes

Alastair Cook: I was closest to quitting captaincy after Headlingley Test against Sri Lanka

Leave it to Smiths — an all-Smith XI

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Top 10 young players to keep an eye on

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

PK fourth poster: Sanjay Dutt joins Aamir Khan with the Bhopu!

Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan focused on ICC World Cup 2015 preparations

Jerome Taylor picks up his 100th Test wicket

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Birthday Special: Which is your favourite Sanaya Irani character? Vote!

NGOs pursue education for all

महानायक अमिताभ बच्चन हो रहे हैं स्वस्थ

iOS 8 review round up: Familiar yet new

अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति ने कहा इबोला महामारी के कारण वैश्विक सुरक्षा खतरे में पड़ा

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to visit India this month: Report

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here