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Just 15 days with Zaheer Khan made a huge difference to my bowling: Siddarth Kaul

Kaul is a part of the India T20I squad that will travel to New Zealand for a three-match series.

Siddarth Kaul T20I cricket
Indian pacer Siddarth Kaul. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It would not be entirely wrong to say that India’s domestic cricket is widely dominated by spinners. On spin-friendly wickets, the fast-bowlers rarely manage to make a mark. But there are always some exceptions and Punjab’s Siddarth Kaul is definitely one of them. A member of the Virat Kohli-led side that won the Under-19 World Cup in 2008, Kaul has been grinding hard in domestic cricket for almost a decade and it is reaping rewards now.

His fortunes took a turn for the better after he signed up for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2017. He ended the tournament with 16 wickets and was duly rewarded with a call from India A side for the triangular series in South Africa. The right-arm pacer made an instant impact, finishing as the third-leading wicket-taker.

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He impressed in the last IPL too and went on to receive a call-up for the tour of United Kingdom where he made his T20I debut in Ireland and ODI debut in England. Kaul has continued to impress and recently had a good outing in the ongoing season of Ranji Trophy.

While Punjab failed to make it to the quarterfinals, Kaul grabbed the eyeballs with his performance. He finished the season with 23 wickets at an average of 25.30 in six matches. Prior to that, Kaul had impressed for India A in New Zealand, picking up seven wickets in 3 List A games. The selectors have once again rewarded him for his displays by adding him to the T20I squad for the series in New Zealand next month.

Kaul credits Zaheer:

In a recent interview, Kaul revealed how legendary India pacer Zaheer Khan helped him improve his bowling. Kaul revealed he was advised by Rohit Sharma to approach Zaheer before getting an insight on his work with the former India pacer.

“During the Asia Cup, (Indian opener) Rohit Sharma advised me to go to Zak Pa. The legend has truckloads of experience of bowling on overseas wickets. Just 15 days with him in Mumbai made a huge difference to my bowling. For the first four days, he made me bowl only yorkers.

I could always bowl in the block hole but he taught me the pinpoint execution of a toe crusher. Apart from yorker, we also worked on the knuckle ball and a couple of more variations. The Zak magic has given me a fresh mindset. I also pick the brains of Ashish Nehra regularly,” he told Times of India.

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