IND v SA 2022: ‘My mom had tears in her eyes, my father who would’ve been happiest- Mukesh Kumar on maiden India call-up

Mukesh Kumar and Rajat Patidar were the new faces picked in Indian squad for SA ODIs.

Mukesh Kumar for India A | BCCIMukesh Kumar, the Bengal fast bowler, only came to know of his selection to the Indian team after he was added to the official WhatsApp group. Kumar, along with Rajat Patidar, were the two new faces picked for the three ODIs against South Africa which begins on October 6.

The first match will be played in Indore, the second on October 9 in Ranchi, and the final ODI on October 11 in Delhi. None of the players in India’s T20 World Cup 2022 main squad and Mohammad Shami were considered, as they fly to Australia on October 6 for prepping for the T20 World Cup 2022 which begins on October 16.

The squad will be captained by Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer has been named as the vice-captain of the side.

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The right-arm pacer has been Bengal's most consistent new ball bowler and the five for in the first Test against New Zealand 'A' and a four for on the first day of the Irani Cup really fast-tracked his progress into the Indian team.

I got very emotional. It was all blur. I could only remember my father late Kashi Nath Singh’s face. My father till I played Ranji Trophy for Bengal didn’t think I am good enough to do well professionally. Unko Shaq thaa ki main kaabil hoon bhi ya nahi.

Today my mom had tears in her eyes. She was so emotional. Everyone at home started crying,” Mukesh told PTI.   

He lost his father to a brain stroke just before the Ranji finals.

Mukesh also said that his ability to move the ball both ways in the air is god’s gift to him.

For him, a chance to enter the Indian dressing room is an opportunity to learn as much as possible, be a sponge and soak it all in. He also recalled the advice VVS Laxman gave him when he was the mentor of the Bengal team.

“Life is all about learning and it never stops. My endeavor would be to ensure that till I play cricket, I should never stop learning. Laxman sir told me that Mukesh whatever lengths you bowl for Bengal and how you set up batters, just replicate that consistently. I just followed his instruction,” he said.

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Before the ongoing Irani Cup match, Mukesh had 109 wickets in 30 FC matches, while 17 and 19 wickets in List A and T20s respectively.

When asked about shifting from the red SG ball to the white Kookaburra ball in ODIs, Mukesh said: “Basics remain the same. Even with the white kookaburra, you need to pitch it up to top order and with old ball hit hard lengths and bowl cutters.”

He was also asked whether his mother will come to watch him play for India.

Mukesh said: “Mujhe ground se dekhne se zyada meri mummy mujhe Kamyab dekhna Pasand karenge (My mother would rather see me become successful instead of watching me play in the ground),” he replied.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 03 Oct, 2022

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