Abhinav Mukund eager to reclaim his Test spot
What's the story?
Getting dropped isn't always easy to take, especially after you've scored a fifty but Indian opener Abhinav Mukund just wants to make the most of the opportunities that he is presented with. With Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in the side, opportunities have been limited but the 27-year-old is keen to go back to domestic cricket and earn his place back in the Indian Test side.
Speaking to TOI, Mukund said: "It's not a new thing for me to go back to domestic cricket, score heavily and come back. I'm all set for the season ahead. Whatever opportunities I get, I want to do well. It's not like I was dropped because of bad performance. It's just that I had to make way for a regular. I think people in the team have an idea of what I can do now. That's a good place to be in.
When asked about being dropped on the back of a fifty, he said: "Obviously, it was disappointing to miss out. But the current Indian team is such that you have to make way for the regulars. There were players who sat out even after scoring a 300 (Karun Nair); that's how the team is and that's why we are the No. 1 side in the world. I understood it. Kohli and Shastri said they loved my commitment and were pleased with my efforts on the field and with the bat. I know I will get my opportunity again."
In case you didn't know...
Despite scoring 81 in the second innings of the first Test against Sri Lanka, which was only his second Test after making a comeback after six years earlier this year, the southpaw didn't make the cut for the next Test as KL Rahul regained his fitness and replaced the 27-year-old Tamil Nadu opener.
Although he made his Test debut in 2011, he has only played seven Tests since then, two of whom have come this year. However, the man with 26 first-class centuries and nearly 9,000 runs isn't too worried about the numbers just yet as he believes he has what it takes to succeed at the international. His 81 was his second Test fifty and although he admitted he was "disappointed not to get a hundred", he was happy to spend some time at the crease.
With India set to travel to South Africa, England and Australia in 2018 on grueling away tours, having a strong bench will be crucial as they look to cement their status as the No.1 Test side in the world. And the 27-year-old admits that whoever comes in will have their task cut out for them to break into the current Test side.
"The Indian team is currently playing at a standard that I don't think any other team in the world is playing.They have set high standards. People coming from domestic cricket into the Indian team have to be at that level to play international cricket," he added.
After winning the Test series 3-0, India are currently playing the limited-overs leg of their series against Sri Lanka. India's next two assignments following this are in the shorter formats, against Australia and New Zealand. The next Test series will also be against Sri Lanka, who are set to tour India later this year.
Despite being one of the most prolific run-getters in the domestic circuit, Abhinav Mukund has been unlucky not to get too many chances to represent India. The 27-year-old has played just seven Tests since his Test debut six years ago but the fact that he has managed to impress Kohli and Shastri with his commitment is only going to bode well for his future.
With plenty of years left in the tank, Mukund just needs to continue to do what he is currently doing and his opportunity is certain to arrive.