Praveen Kumar eager to regain rhythm
Praveen Kumar, the Kings XI Punjab seamer, has said he is "yet to get in to the zone" following his return from the elbow injury that ruled him out of the 2011 World Cup. Praveen has picked up wickets in the first over of each of the two games he's played in this IPL so far, but leaked runs after the initial burst. He dismissed Graeme Smith first ball against Pune Warriors but went for 28 in three overs, and was taken for 22 in one over by MS Dhoni after he had struck twice off the first two balls of the match, removing S Anirudha and Suresh Raina.
"It has been a frustrating couple of months for me while I was getting ready for the IPL," Praveen told Times of India. "I did not know whether I would be fit in time. But I worked hard on my fitness and here I am. However, after a couple of games for Kings XI Punjab, I feel I have yet to get into the zone.
"See, the rhythm is still missing. I have to work on my slower ball. Variation in pace is crucial in Twenty20. I somehow need to get back the slower delivery when the ball is old. Otherwise the new ball is coming out well from the hand."
Praveen admitted Twenty20 cricket was not the ideal stage to judge a bowler's form but hoped to do well to remain in contention for India's tour to the West Indies. "With back-to-back matches and a hectic travelling schedule, it is difficult to get time off to work for a long time in the nets," Praveen said. "In T20, every bowler gets the stick and it is not an ideal platform to judge a bowler's form as he is bound to go for plenty. Yet, I am hopeful of improving with each match and be in peak form when the team for the West Indies tour is picked."