While most of the Indian players look jaded due to the hectic workload related to the World Cup, Praveen Kumar, who missed out on the quadrennial event due to an elbow injury, bowled his heart out in the nets on Saturday.
MiD DAY caught up with the Uttar Pradesh seamer, who will don the Kings XI Punjab jersey in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), for an exclusive chat at the DY Patil Stadium here. Though Kings XI Punjab didn't put up a huge score (112-8), Praveen met with immediate success as he dismissed Graeme Smith for a duck.
What's the update on your injury?
I am fully fit. Didn't you see me bowl? I am feeling good after my rehabilitation. I spent some time working on my fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. I am 100 per cent fit and raring to go.
How motivated are you to perform in the IPL after missing out on the World Cup?
I am looking at the IPL as just another tournament. I don't want to put pressure on myself by thinking of doing something special. I am taking one match at a time.
How disappointed were you about missing the World Cup?
Injuries are part and parcel of the game. I was disappointed not to play the World Cup, but I couldn't do much about it. I have to look forward now.
What were your feelings when India won?
I was a bit disappointed to miss out on the tournament, and more so when we won the Cup. With or without me is secondary. What was important is that the team won and that is the best thing to have happened.
How did you celebrate the night India won the final?
It was a great day for our cricket. I celebrated like everyone else. I was very happy for my team. There is a lot of time for the next World Cup. I am not thinking about it as yet.