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Siddharth Kaul was selected in the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka © BCCI (File Photo)

It was during the drinks break while playing his 2017-18 Ranji Trophy tie for Punjab on Day Three of Round Seven against Services at the Gandhi Sports Complex Ground in Amritsar, when Siddharth Kaul received the greatest news of his career, as he earned his maiden national call up. Kaul was selected in the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting December 10. The umpires of the match Vineet Kulkarni and K Srinath gave him the news. Kaul was in the limelight after he led India to a win in the 2008 ICC U19 Wold Cup final against South Africa in the last over. Siddarth Kaul’s father: My sons have justified my faith

On his maiden national call-up

“I was always hopeful that if I kept performing, I would get my share of chances. Yes, it was a great feeling to win the U-19 World Cup but all these years I knew that good performance at the domestic level would be rewarded. I had to focus on being consistent in domestic cricket. That was my endeavour and this is a reward for that,” said Kaul, as reported by PTI.

On the role played by senior players

“Yuvi paaji and Bhajju paa are inspirations for all of us in the Punjab team. They have played so much of international cricket that even a slightest input during match situations can improve you as a bowler. Whenever they have been around, I have only gained as a player. It’s not like they would coach you but just give you subtle hints about what to do in specific situations.”

On playing for India A and in IPL

“Playing for India A or the IPL is top level cricket and it always gives you that confidence that you can belong to a certain level. What helped me was my interactions with Rahul Dravid. Rahul sir would always tell me that self belief is key for any player. At this level, it is about doing small things right on a consistent basis. That’s what I did when I was playing against New Zealand A or South Africa A.”

On his fast bowling ability

“I would give a lot of credit to our Punjab team trainer Sagar Diwan. Training with him has improved my fitness and stamina and has also helped in increasing my pace. I am also able to move the ball both ways consistently. When your brother [Uday] is a wicketkeeper, you get first-hand input about how the ball is releasing out of your hand.”