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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Kepler Wessels suprised with Jesse Ryder’s inclusion in New Zealand squad

Younis Khan deserves to be in 2015 World Cup squad, says Zaheer Abbas

Misbah-ul-Haq supports polio drive launched by UNICEF

Pakistan on top against Australia at Lunch on Day 3 despite David Warner century

Andrew Flintoff excited about upcoming Big Bash League stint with Brisbane Heat

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Happy New Year box office: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s film off to a flying start!

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

‘Kaththi’ mints Rs.15.4 crore on release day

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

Rashami Desai, Ravi Dubey, Tina Dutta wish to have a pet friendly Diwali!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Happy New Year movie review: Crafted to please Shah Rukh Khan fans

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here