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An Interview with the promising Punjab-da-Puttar: Gagandeep Singh


Cricketer Of The Year
Good stuff. Very good interview. Covers some rather interesting points.
Gagandeep's comments, taken from the interview-
I am feeling very good after coming from Bangladesh, back to play for Punjab. Even the team has been doing well, and we are bowling well, so it feels good to be playing again for your team in the Ranji Trophy.
Not so good. They just scraped through for a draw against TN, and lost the next match against Hyderabad. Now that they're virtually assured of a semi-final berth, they have to regain the form that they had going with them at the start of the season. If he plays the full season, Punjab has a realistic chance of winning the trophy.
From the interview
Last year, I had bowled really well and was hoping for a break at least into the India A team. Even this year, the performance has been quite good with 28 wickets in just 4 games. Right now, I am working really hard and praying that I get a chance as soon as possible. I make sure that if I get one chance, I’ll give my best.
He has maintained a good average for more than a few seasons, as it stays at slightly under 20 after over 30 FC matches. He also has quite a few 5-wicket auls to his credit, but there was a lot of competition at that time, particularly at A-team level. While there was a monopoly of sorts in the senior team with the pace bowlers, he eventually missed out on an A-team berth to Amit Bhandari, Avishkar Salvi and SS Paul, all of whom had also performed rather well- Salvi has had good averages away from India, while Bhandari's success in England has kept him regularly in the A-team. In comparison, Gagandeep has hardly been considered.
my role models were Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Whenever I saw them play, I used to feel very good. I carefully used to watch them bowl, notice their line and length and tried to apply that in my bowling during my early days.
Both were tall men, though Gagandeep is not on the shorter side himself. Both had a lot of pace, so what suited them may be different from what's best for him, since he's just another medium-pacer. Then again, there's always line and length, and they could get a lot of swing, used to good effect. He may be running hot when conditions suit swing bowling, but how well he adapts to conditions not so favourable is yet to be seen.
Yes, that was a very good match for me. Actually, I had been selected in the squad for the Board President’s XI to play South Africa at Jaipur. But I didn’t get selected in the final XI, so I took permission and came back to Punjab to play that match against Assam. It was a dream start for me in that match and I ended up taking 12 wickets eventually. Even in the next match, we had an outright win against Baroda where I took 8 wickets. So I think the selectors were impressed with that performance, and they gave me a chance by selecting me for the Bangladesh Tour.
That's good on the part of the selectors, as they've kept him in action. It has definitely paid off. When he was in good form, the team was winning, which is why he has to last the full season.
No, it isn’t like that. You need to respect and understand the requirements of the team. At that time you had Irfan and Zaheer bowling really well; Kumble and Harbhajan were also doing well. As you know, Kumble also went on to surpass Kapil. Even Bangladesh performed very well in the 2nd Test, so I think the best Indian XI which played against Bangladesh.
There was an opportunity in that series- Harbhajan was not in good form, and contributed little in the series, except with the bat. Irfan has done a lot of bowling and has worked hard, and needed a little rest. Gagandeep had been in good form against some of the better Ranji sides, and could carry it on in the Test matches. The captain and coach thought otherwise.
Well, cricket is a game of uncertainty and we still aren’t sure about the teams that are going to qualify for the Semis. If we qualify then I am pretty sure that we will do very well. Our coach Intikhab Alam is a mastermind and he has guided us really well. He has supported us a lot, and I think if we qualify for the semis, we will try to make our coach proud by winning the Ranji Trophy.
They have a very good chance of making the semis- they were leading the group by a sizeable number of points, but the recent slump in form may be a stumbling block they have to overcome, to stay in contention. Their batting should be more consistent if they should pose a threat to Mumbai, the defending champions.
His way of motivating players is really wonderful. He never allows a player to feel down and out. He motivates you really well; doesn’t matter if you are doing well or not. A cricketer has both bad days and good days in his career. Intikhab Alam is such a coach, who would encourage you on the good days as well motivate you to do well when you are going through a rough patch. A good coach is the one who can handle a player really well. He handles a player really well both in the good times as well as the bad times. A person can teach you how to bowl or how to field anywhere in the world, but a coach is one who handles the team really well, and that’s why Intikhab Alam is such a great coach.
This man's contribution cannot be underestimated. He is intelligent, and has optimised the resources at hand. He has transformed a raw side into a potent one, taking them closer to a tournament victory.
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This is a gr8 find for India, this lad has shown skills and temperament and might reach the glorious height of the game if he continues to work hard. Has an excellent physique and can bowl for longer period unlike some of the present day huff and puff bowler.

However getting into Indian national team isn't a piece of cake, and Singh will have to perform at his brilliant best to be a part of Indian team.