IPL 2022: Who is Kuldeep Sen, Rajasthan Royals' death-overs saviour in the win over Lucknow Super Giants?

Kuldeep Sen bowled an impressive spell, including a fantastic final over, to help Rajasthan Royals win over Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022. 
Kuldeep Sen Rajasthan Royals Fast Bowler IPL 2022?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

Kuldeep Sen emerged as Rajasthan Royals' hero with a brilliant final over against Lucknow Super Giants' Marcus Stoinis in IPL 2022. 

Rajasthan Royals (RR) pacer Kuldeep Sen became his saviour on debut against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in IPL 2022 this Sunday (April 10). Defending 15 off the last over, the right-arm quick kept LSG's renowned powerhitter Marcus Stoinis and his team down to just 11 runs to enable RR's three-run victory. 

Bowling to one of the most dangerous hitters of the cricket ball, Kuldeep emerged as his team's hero at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, considered bowlers' deathbed for its super flat pitch and wet conditions amidst dew. 

The young quick showed tremendous control over nerves and restricted the rampaging Stoinis to just a pair of hits, both of which came after Kuldeep Sen had brought the equation down to a hopeless 14 off 2 balls for LSG. 

Overall, the 25-year-old bagged figures of 1 for 35 off his 4 overs in RR's successful effort to defend their 165/6. The contribution, especially the final-over exploits, earned Kuldeep rich praise from his skipper Sanju Samson, who talked up his talent and promise at the post-match presentation ceremony. 

"Depends on how he has bowled his first three overs," Samson said on the decision to go in with Kuldeep, referring to the early part of his spell as a key factor. "Got the feel that he has done well and he is confident (talking about Kuldeep Sen) to go and execute his wide yorker which he has been working in the off season. Saw him in Syed Mushtaq and he was nailing his wide yorkers."

Sanju Samson's hand in Kuldeep Sen's RR stint 

Remarks following the game from Samson indicated he had a big hand in Kuldeep Sen's inclusion into the Royals set-up. Having seen Kuldeep play from close quarters for Madhya Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy earlier this year, Samson seems to have played his part in getting the RR think-tank to bid for the young pacer. 

Playing five matches for MP in the tournament with 4 wickets at 7.75 runs an over, Kuldeep had just about reasonably numbers to back his case. But what tilted the scales in his favour was how he operated at the death, executing his yorkers under pressure. Captaining Kerala in the tournament, the bowler was one of the talents that the RR skipper had earmarked for IPL recognition. 

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Soon, the Royals picked Kuldeep Sen for a base sum of INR 20 lakhs at the mega auction in Bangalore this February, a bid of great encouragement for the player who has gone through four years of hard grind at the domestic level for MP. 

The pacer made his senior domestic debut for the state back in the 2018-19 season and has since represented MP in 16 first-class games apart from 5 List A and 19 T20 games. 

Another Indian cricketer with humble beginnings but great dreams, Kuldeep Sen hails from Hariharpur in MP's Rewa district where his father ran a small salon shop to make ends meet for his family. Third of the five siblings at home, Kuldeep began playing cricket aged 8. 

Lack of financial support could've proved a major hurdle to the youngster's desire to play competitive sport, but local coaches spotted his talent and backed him through his critical years. Seeing him operate better than most players of his age, the academy Kuldeep had joined made a point to waive off his fees. 

Strong performances at the district level earned Kuldeep a nod for MP's state side back in 2018 and he made his first-class debut against Tamil Nadu in Dindigul. The highlight of his first Ranji Trophy campaign was a five-wicket haul taken against Punjab. He went on to bag 25 wickets for the season. 

"He is a talented medium pacer. He broke into the Ranji Trophy team in 2018, which was my first season as the coach. We saw him at the junior level, and our selectors and the team management were very impressed with his performances, and that’s why we decided to draft him for the senior team. He has been around in the circuit for a while and is quite quick," former MP captain Devendra Bundela told Sportstar. 

"He has good height and bowls the outswinger really well, and in terms of fitness, he is very particular. And in the limited-overs format, he can be effective with the bat as well and has the firepower to hit sixes. He has the potential to do well in the IPL."