New Delhi: Promising Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul, who has been selected in the India 'A' team for the tour of South Africa, is keen to grab the opportunity with both hands by just "sticking to the basics" and not getting carried away by the bouncy pitches there.
The 23-year-old Kaul said it is important for him to go there with a "positive mind" and not burden himself with targets and expectations which can put additional pressure on him.
"If you ask me whether I expected an India 'A' call-up, I would say 'No'. Now that I have got a chance, I will give my 110 percent as it has always been the case," Kaul, who has taken 44 wickets in 9 Ranji Trophy matches, told PTI on Wednesday.
"I have never played cricket expecting anything. That's the mindset I had inculcated since childhood. I was passionate about the game. All I wanted was to play hard and play seriously in whatever matches I participated", he said.
He was a contemporary of Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja at the U-19 stage but Kaul's transition from the colts level to senior cricket has not been really been smooth like his illustrious teammates.
Nearly five and half years after playing a major part in India's U-19 World Cup triumph, Kaul has made it to the South Africa bound India 'A' team after a good first-class season.
Asked if he has set any personal goals in his career, Kaul replied, "Right from my U-15 days, I have not set any personal benchmarks or goals. I was taught that my job is to focus on my bowling and do the basics correctly. It is very important to stick to basics on those bouncy tracks. I should never burden myself with expectations."
The 2012-13 season has been a breakthrough one for the Chandigarh lad at the senior level but he feels that he never did anything different from the other seasons when he found it difficult to cement his place in the state side.
"Staying in a positive frame of mind has been the key. Frankly speaking, I didn't change anything technically. I am still the same bowler that I used to be five years ago. Keeping the ball in right areas was a priority then as it is now," the soft-spoken Kaul said.
For Kaul, his father and former Team India physio Tej Kaul is the person whom he looks up to apart from his brother Uday, who is also a current first-class player for Punjab.
"The situation and phases that you go through in life is not always the same. There are highs but at the same time, there are a few lows too. My father (Tej) has been my guide all through. If I have any problems regarding my game or motivation, he is the person I look up to for inspiration," stated Kaul.
This will be his first tour of South Africa and the youngster is planning to do some homework before boarding the Johannesburg-bound flight.
"This is my first tour of South Africa. I have decided that I will speak to my teammates as quite a few of them have played a decent amount of cricket over there. Obviously, I expect to get good inputs from them which will help me decide as to what length I need to hit on those hard and bouncy tracks," he added.
A good performance in South Africa might open the door as a reserve pacer when the senior team travels there for a Test series at the end of the year but he is not thinking that far.
"I am not thinking about anything apart from performing well for India A on this upcoming tour," Kaul added.