The cricketing world was recently abuzz with curiosity as the unexpected inclusion of 30-year-old all-rounder Saurabh Kumar in the Indian Test team made headlines. Drafted in as one of the replacements for the injured Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, Saurabh’s journey to the national cricket team is nothing short of inspiring and has intrigued fans across the world.
On that note, let’s delve into the extraordinary journey of Saurabh, exploring his roots, experiences in the armed forces, domestic cricket successes, and the pivotal moments that led to his surprising yet well-deserved call-up to represent India in Test cricket.
Early life and background
Born on May 1, 1993, in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat, Saurabh grew up in a middle-class family. His father served as a junior engineer at All India Radio. Despite humble beginnings, Saurabh’s story took an unconventional turn as he not only pursued a career in cricket but also served in the Indian Air Force before redefining his focus on cricket and returning to his roots in Uttar Pradesh. In 2021, he celebrated a personal milestone by tying the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Neha Saby, in a private ceremony in Ghaziabad.
Domestic cricket success
Saurabh’s cricketing prowess became evident in the domestic circuit, particularly in first-class cricket. With an impressive record of 290 wickets in 68 matches, he consistently proved to be a valuable asset for his team. His batting skills were equally commendable, contributing a substantial 2061 runs to the scoreboard. In List A cricket, he showcased his all-round abilities, claiming 50 wickets and scoring 314 runs.
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IPL journey and India A representation
The turning point in Saurabh’s career came in February 2017 when Rising Pune Supergiants acquired him for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 season for a sum of 10 lakhs. His talent also earned him a spot in the India A squad on multiple occasions, and he even served as a net bowler when England toured India for a Test series in 2021. Notably, he was picked up by the Punjab Kings in the IPL 2021, further solidifying his presence on the national cricketing radar.
Struggles and persistence
Despite consistent performances, Saurabh remained under the radar of national selectors. Undeterred by this, he continued to grind and showcase his skills in various formats of the game.
Breakthrough performance with India A
Saurabh’s breakthrough finally came when he seized the opportunity to represent India A in a crucial match against England Lions. In the second unofficial Test, he displayed his mettle by taking six wickets and contributing an impressive 77 runs with the bat. This stellar performance became the catalyst for his maiden call-up to the Indian Test team.
Maiden call-up to the Indian Test team
The Vishakhapatnam Test match became the stage for Saurabh to fulfill his dreams. His dedication, hard work, and outstanding performance in the India A vs England Lions match did not go unnoticed, earning him a well-deserved call-up to the Indian Test team for the second Test of the five-match series against England.
- 1 Early life and background
- 2 Domestic cricket success
- 3 IPL journey and India A representation
- 4 Struggles and persistence
- 5 Breakthrough performance with India A
- 6 Maiden call-up to the Indian Test team