Uday Kaul

Uday Kaul has been a consistent performer in front of the stumps as much as he is behind them since his debut in 2005-06.(Photo Courtesy: DNA)

Mumbai: Sep 14, 2013

Twenty20 cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) have immensely contributed to the rise of cricketers across India. The strength of India A squads a combination of promising youngsters and senior pros who have been out of the senior team in recent times that are all set to take on West Indies ‘A’ later this month are beyond comparison.

There are also players who have been performing consistently in the domestic circuit season after season but have not been able to go to the next level.

Just when Uday Kaul, Punjab wicketkeeper-batsman thought that recognition from the national selectors was hard to come by, he has been roped in for the second and third four-day matches against the visiting Caribbeans.

The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer in front of the stumps as much as he is behind them since his debut in 2005-06.

He did not play much of IPL despite being in the Kings XI Punjab squad in the first three seasons. But he has been diligently performing in Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy among others.

Was not playing much in IPL the reason why he could not come in the limelight? “I think so. Players are noticed for their IPL heroics.

It is also a confidence booster. Many cricketers come up through the ranks, thanks to IPL. But I still feel Test cricket is the real cricket. I was not prepared for this news [India ‘A’ selection] as despite performing for a long time, I wasn’t noticed. Until now, that is,” Kaul said. 

“I have been scoring centuries regularly for five years now. I am glad it has finally paid off. Now, I will look to up my game even more,” he added.

Surprisingly, his younger brother Siddharth Kaul, a right-arm medium-pacer, got the India ‘A’ call-up before him. “But, it is a part of the process. It is not easy to get a chance. I have given my whole life to the game and I know how it works.

“It is not about who is more talented. Our family is grateful to Board of Control for Cricket in India and Punjab Cricket Association,” said father Tej Kaul, a former Indian team physiotherapist and also Uday’s mentor.

Kaul models himself on Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara. “He is my idol and I try to follow his style,” he added.

However, his father believes he will excel as “he is patient on the field, knows how to get runs and is tailor-made for the longer version of the game”.

Sports runs in his blood. Apart from the cricketing men in the family, his mother Sandhya Kaul is a former national gymnastics champion. It remains to be seen whether the Chandigarh lad can script a fairy tale.

(Before joining DNA sports, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya worked with The Hindu Business Line as a freelancer, and in front and behind the camera for Broadcast Telecast Worldwide (Kolkata). Apart from penning and editing stories, he is also a photographer and a musician. The above article has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)