Not only will this be the first red-ball series the Asian side will play since their 1-2 defeat to South Africa in the three-match Test series in the rainbow nation, but it will also be their first assignment in the longest format of the game since Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as India’s Test captain. Rohit Sharma is all set to lead India in this series.
The BCCI named the squad for the series today, February 19 and included Sourabh Kumar. Not many cricket fans would have come across his name, but who is he? Does he deserve to be in the Indian squad?
The all-rounder plays for Uttar Pradesh in the domestic arena and was recently with the India A team in South Africa. He made his First-Class debut in 2014 and has played 46 FC games. In these 46 games, he has picked 196 wickets at an average of 24.15. This includes 16 fifers as well. He has also scored 1572 runs at an average of 29.11.
The left-arm spinner was first spotted Bishan Singh Bedi, who then took him under his wing. When it comes to his bowling style, he generally tends to fight the ball. Kumar relies on traditional tools such as dip and turn. As a matter of fact, he himself once said that he doesn’t bowl the carrom bowl.
“Mein ye carom-varom ball nahi daalta [I don’t bowl the carom ball]. I never liked it. I like to loop it and set up batsmen in the air,” said Sourabh Kumar, as quoted by The Indian Express. The 28-year-old also drew light on his early days, and revealed how he used to travel from Baghpat to Delhi by train.
“It would take us two-and-a-half hours to reach Delhi. Three times a week, I would come to Sunita Sharma’s academy. My father used to do over-time to make sure he accompanied me to Delhi,” he said.