I stopped getting out of my house after going unsold in IPL auctions, reveals Praveen Kumar
Replacing an injured Zaheer Khan for Mumbai Indians, Praveen Kumar made an immediate impact at Wankhede when he dismissed the dangerous Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith in his first match this season. Though Praveen’s performance came for a losing cause, his trademark swing troubled the batsmen.
Having gone unsold during the auctions earlier this year, Praveen was delighted to be back in the IPL dugout.
“I was very disappointed when I was not picked in the auctions. It was a shocking moment for me. I was dejected for the first week-and-a-half, but started to calm down as the days passed by,” Praveen, who has been a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in previous seasons, told iplt20.com.
“There came a point at that time when I actually stopped getting out of my house, thinking what people would talk about me and feared if they would ask me different kinds of questions. But slowly, I started getting out and all the negativity faded off. I was gutted that I hadn’t got a chance to play on a platform where I have been playing for so long,” the emotional Meerut-born Praveen said.
But then Zaheer’s injury resulted in turn of fortunes for Praveen as he was called up by Mumbai Indians. “I was extremely happy when I got a call from Mumbai Indians to represent them in the IPL. I couldn’t sleep that night, and all of a sudden, I became a lot more positive. It was a great moment for me when I realised that I will be back in action,” he said.
The time away from game was not spent without any valuable work for Praveen, who had studied the batsmen’s weaknesses.
“I was watching the IPL matches at home. I was watching how Dwayne was going about his batting and kept a tab on his weaknesses. I noticed that he was playing the inswinger well in all those matches and had difficulties playing the outswinger. It was strange that tonight he was playing the outswinger better and had problems playing the inswinger,” he said.
The UP pacer’s inswingers have been his biggest strength and he is confident of coming good this season.
“Inswing comes natural to me and I can bowl it at any given point of time. My only focus was to swing the ball at the right line and length. I am happy that everything is falling in place slowly, and it never felt like I was playing after being out of action for a long time.”
Having last played for India in 2012 Asia Cup, Praveen’s career has been plagued with intermittent injuries, which have threatened to derail his career whenever he seemed to be getting some momentum in the national squad.
“I have always had injuries creeping in all of a sudden. All my injuries – be it my shoulder, my elbow or my broken rib – have never been a problem that has persisted for a long time. They all came all of a sudden and happened by accident. Now, I am fit and raring to go,” he concluded.