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Content with everything, Saurabh Kumar is “living the dream”

Last updated on 02 Jul 2023 | 01:25 PM
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Content with everything, Saurabh Kumar is “living the dream”

To understand Saurabh Kumar at a deeper level needs a sense of equanimity to the purpose

Saurabh Kumar emanates an astonishing sense of tranquility, uncanny to the mold that shaped him in his hometown of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. Despite making his senior domestic debut for Services and possessing an inherent discipline, Saurabh remains composed to an extraordinary degree.

Whether it's his second eight-wicket haul that decimated the East Zone batting lineup, marking his 20th fifer and an impressive seventh 10-wicket match haul in the realm of first-class cricket, Saurabh's countenance remains remarkably steadfast.

“Nothing makes me happier than bowling in a cricket match. It’s this love for the game that propels me forward. Doesn’t matter whether it is an India A game, a Zonal first-class match, or even a club match, the love for contributing to the team’s win has been the biggest motivating factor,” Saurabh tells after guiding Central Zone to a 170-run victory in Alur. 

“But I have always remained spiritual and grounded. That adds strength to me. The desire to become the best version of myself is always there. Everything becomes easy afterward if your dream continuously pushes you forward.”

To understand Saurabh Kumar at a deeper level needs a sense of equanimity to the purpose. How would you decode the real importance of a player who has been a touch-and-go in the senior Indian set-up in the last two and a half years? 

From being a net bowler for the home series against England in February 2021 to being picked in the 15-member squad for the Bangladesh series last November, Saurabh’s journey has seen him become a more confident version of himself - one who understands that nothing less than a regular burst of wickets would suffice to disturb the apple cart and get him closer to the dream that he so passionately talked about. 

“When I was with the Indian team, it was Ravindra Jadeja bhai with whom I spent the most time. He would always give his advice on my bowling and how to better my skillsets. There maybe a huge competition ahead of me, but I’ve never seen it that way. I always try to learn from the likes of Jaddu bhai and Ashwin bhai,” Saurabh said.

While he may not enjoy the same level of recognition as some of his more flamboyant contemporaries, Saurabh Kumar has quietly established himself as one of the most dependable performers in domestic cricket. Over the course of 68 innings since June 2018, Saurabh has impressively claimed 182 wickets at an average of 23.1. Among all Indian bowlers, only Ravichandran Ashwin, with 239 wickets in 88 innings, surpasses Saurabh's tally, a remarkable achievement in its own right. 

“I have always believed that practice is the most important thing for a cricketer. I couldn’t be disheartened that I was not picked for the IPL or why am I not in the Indian team. It is always about giving my best to stay relevant and be prepared for a call-up. A selection query never runs in the back of my mind,” Saurabh added.

It was precisely the reason why Saurabh Kumar is so content with everything in life. The ability to stay in the present has added a zing to his performances, which in turn has resulted in on-field success. It shouldn't go unnoticed. 

Picture Credits : Lalith Kalidas

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