Harpreet Brar: Dreaming of Test Cricket for India

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Punjab Kings’ Harpreet Brar once contemplated a move to Canada, but destiny had different plans for the left-arm spinner. In the 2019 IPL auction, Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) acquired him for his base price of ₹20 lakh at the age of 23, and he has remained with the team ever since.

Gradually, Brar has become an integral part of the PBKS setup, but the 28-year-old’s ultimate ambition is to represent India in Test cricket. Despite playing 40 matches and taking 24 wickets in the IPL, he is yet to make his Ranji Trophy debut for Punjab. However, he remains optimistic about his chances in the future.

In an exclusive interview with CricketNext, Brar reflects on his journey, his interactions with PBKS coach Sunil Joshi, experiences with the Indian team as a net bowler, and lessons learned from senior players like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.


Q: Tell us about your journey in cricket and your initial plans to move to Canada.

A: I began playing cricket in 2007, starting off with friends before joining an academy. Despite not getting many opportunities in professional cricket initially, I continued to hone my skills through club cricket. The idea of moving to Canada was never serious; it was just a joke about Punjabi guys heading there. Fortunately, things started falling into place for me in India, so I stayed.

Q: What insights did you gain from Sunil Joshi?

A: My interaction with Joshi sir was very enlightening. He provided valuable advice on my bowling technique, emphasizing nuances like using the crease effectively and imparting more revolutions on the ball. Implementing these suggestions gradually improved my game.

Q: Share your conversations with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.

A: I’ve always been a bit reserved around senior players, but I did have some valuable exchanges with Dhoni about batting in death overs and with Virat about maintaining focus despite limited playing opportunities.

Q: Your family met Virat Kohli recently. How was that experience?

A: Yes, my family met Virat in Dharamshala during one of my games. He graciously interacted with them, even conversing in Punjabi, which meant a lot to me.

Q: Despite performing well in lower formats, you haven’t played Ranji Trophy yet. Any specific reasons?

A: There hasn’t been any communication regarding my absence from Ranji Trophy matches. I focus on my game and wait for my opportunity, aiming ultimately to represent India in Test cricket.

Q: What was your conversation with Rahul Dravid like?

A: Dravid praised my bowling and questioned why I wasn’t playing red-ball cricket domestically. I humorously suggested he speak to someone who could facilitate that, as I’m eager to play.

Q: You maintain an impressive economy rate across formats. Can you explain your approach?

A: I focus on bowling in good areas and maintaining a tight line and length, as advised by my family and coaches. Even if I’m not taking wickets, I aim to contain runs and bowl according to the field set.

Q: How challenging is it to switch between white-ball and red-ball cricket?

A: It’s all about preparation. Regardless of the format, players focus on honing their skills to adapt to different match situations.

Q: What are your thoughts on the high scores in this IPL?

A: The Impact Player Rule has contributed to high scores, making it challenging for bowlers. However, with time, players will adapt to the new norms.

Q: Punjab Kings are out of the IPL playoffs race. How’s the atmosphere in the dressing room?

A: While disappointed, we’re focused on finishing the tournament positively. Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership, backed by his vast experience, has been invaluable, and Sam Curran has shown promising leadership qualities.

Q: Do you focus on batting as well?

A: Yes, I prioritize batting and simulate match scenarios in my practice sessions to build muscle memory and improve my skills.(vegas11 Slot)