Praveen Kumar is one of those players you simply can’t keep out of the game. Just when you think he’s going to be pushed into oblivion by his faster, taller and stronger peers, he comes back with a bang and conjures one of those magical swing-bowling performances that leave you shaking your head in awe. Even if he doesn’t possess the pace to match the Steyns and Malingas of the world, Praveen Kumar manages to outfox his fair share of batsmen with old school bowling – consistent line and length, prodigious seam movement and subtle variations. Currently plying his trade for the Kings XI Punjab in the fifth edition of the IPL, the seamer spoke exclusively with Sportskeeda about his team’s chances in the tournament as well as his own performances.
Kings XI Punjab pulled off a splendid win against Mumbai Indians last week. How important was this win for your team?
Oh yes it was a spectacular win as Mumbai Indians is a very strong team; this has firmly proved that we are no underdogs. Shaun Marsh was excellent and bowlers were fantastic, specially Awana and Piyush. I chipped in with a decent contribution too! All we have to do now is keep the momentum going. We are very positive about the upcoming matches.
What is the team’s immediate aim?
All we are aiming for right now is to play well, win matches and make the semifinals.
Kings X1 Punjab are doing better this year as compared to the previous editions. Do you think the team is good enough to win the trophy this year?
I think we are a good team with the right combination of youngsters and seniors. And we’ve got the leadership of Adam Gilchrist, who is one of the best captains in the world, so we are confident about more good performances. In cricket nothing can be predicted, least of all in the T20 format. There are many matches left in the tournament and the best answer I can give to this question is that we will all give our hundred percent to win; the rest is up to fate.
Which is your favourite format of cricket? T20, ODI or Test?
For me playing in Tests is the ultimate challenge. That said, every format is important and so I always strive adjust to the different formats and give my best.
How will you rate your performance in this IPL?
I’ve taken a few wickets, so I believe I’ve been doing well, but there is always room for improvement. I constantly try to get better at my bowling and learn from my mistakes. What is most important for me is to help the team to win.
What do you have to say about India’s performance in Bangladesh and Australia?
Yes, I admit our results weren’t great on these tours, but it’s not that we didn’t play well. It’s just that in cricket – actually, in every sport – there are good days and bad days. Nevertheless, we are working hard now and I am sure that we will be putting up some great performances in the near future.