If limited ability and smartness are to come together as a package, one need not go any further than Praveen Kumar. Born on October 2, 1986 in Meerut, Praveen exemplifies the typical Indian medium pacer. His 125 kmph bowling should not create any hassles to international class batsmen but his ability to swing even on a road has made him the ‘go-to’ bowler for India. Praveen rose into instant stardom with 10 wickets in just 4 matches at the fag end of the CB Trophy in Australia in 2008. This also included two 4-wicket hauls helping India clinch the tri-nation tournament. His deceptive pace along with the ability to swing the new ball caused a lot of consternation amongst batsmen. His performance helped him grab a IPL contract worth US $ 300,000 with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Praveen had a great IPL campaign with the Royal Challengers and also managed a hat-trick against the Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 season. He was bought by the Kings XI Punjab in the 2011 auctions for a whopping US $ 800,000.Praveen has been one of the leading strike bowlers for Uttar Pradesh with 199 wickets from just 44 FC matches. It has been no wonder that he has led India through several ODI’s abroad where his swing and seam bowling gets the required assistance from the surfaces. He was named in the provisional squad for the 2011 WC held in the sub-continent but had to pull out with an elbow injury. His one day performances were rewarded with a test call up for India’s twin tours of West Indies and England. In conditions suited to his style of bowling, Praveen ended up with 27 wickets in the 6 Test matches that he played to emerge as one of the most successful Indian bowlers.Praveen has already shown that he has it with him to be the lead force in the future. Off-field issues have dogged him in the past though. On May 2008, he was accused of having assaulted a doctor in Meerut. He was also charged with initiating a verbal and physical attack on a group of fans during India’s tour of England in 2011. Though he was not picked for Tests, he continued to play the ODI format. He also travelled with the side to Australia and Bangladesh (Asia Cup) but lack of performances forced the selectors to ignore him. He has not managed to get into the national side since 2012 and continues to feature in the domestic circuit.
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