Team India got their 395th debutant in Test cricket when all-rounder Shardul Thakur pulled up with a groin injury on Day 1 of their 2nd Test at Queen’s Park Oval at Port of Spain in Trinidad. Bengal and Delhi Capitals pacer Mukesh Kumar made his much-awaited international debut after being handed his first Test cap by skipper Rohit Sharma on Thursday.
It has been a long and arduous journey for Mukesh Kumar, who is the son of a taxi driver and born in a small town of Gopalganj in Bihar. The biggest claim to fame of Gopalganj is that Bollywood and ‘Mirzapur’ star Pankaj Tripathi also comes from the same town.
Who is Mukesh Kumar?
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The Bengal pacer spent all of his childhood in Gopalganj in Bihar. By 2012, Mukesh Kumar had completed his B.Com and his father, who was a taxi driver, called him to Kolkata.
Mukesh initially joined the Kalighat club, where former India pacer Ashok Dinda was a member of a set team. “I was the youngest of the six but we had severe financial problems. It was Rano sir, who spoke to then CAB secretary Sourav Ganguly, who arranged for my stay at Eden Gardens and my diet was taken care of,” Mukesh Kumar told PTI after the IPL 2023 auction last year.
“I had come through the ranks having played Buchi Babu and then waited for my turn. The endeavor would be to keep working hard,” the 28-year-old said.
A day to remember! ,
In 39 matches, Mukesh Kumar has taken 149 wickets at a strike-rate of 47.70. He has also played 24 List A games taking 26 wickets and 33 T20 games taking 32 wickets.
As Bengal was battling to try and win the Ranji Trophy title in 2019-20, Mukesh Kumar tragically lost his father due to illness. “When Bengal was having a dream season in 2019-20 where we played finals, I was struggling with my father’s failing health. I would train in the morning and tend to him at the hospital during the evenings. But he passed away due to brain hemorrhage,” he said.
Mukesh Kumar bagged Rs 5.5 crore IPL contract
The pacer sparked off a bidding war in the IPL 2023 auction last year and was finally bagged by the Delhi Capitals for Rs 5.5 crore. Skipper Rohit Sharma revealed at the toss that Mukesh Kumar’s Test debut was a reward for his hard work in domestic cricket.
“We were looking to bat first. Looks nice and sunny as well. It’s going to get slower and slower. Shardul has pulled up a niggle. He’s not fit. Mukesh Kumar is going to make his debut. He has worked hard in the domestic cricket. There’s a lot of memories, the rivalry between the two teams has always been exciting to watch. It’s always been a tough tour, you have to work hard. Even in the last game, we had to work hard, especially the batters. Hopefully we get the result we are expecting,” Rohit Sharma said at the toss on Thursday.