What’s the story?
Discarded Indian fast bowler Pankaj Singh has opened up on the importance of using the ongoing Irani Cup clash as a platform to push forward his case for making a comeback into the national team.
“I have always tried to perform well in order to get chances to represent my country. But unfortunately, I have not got many opportunities. I guess it is destiny - some get their break early while others have to wait for quite long. That is part of life, part of the game. The only thing in my hands is to perform consistently well and that is what I am trying to do,” Pankaj was quoted as saying by mid-day.
When asked about the presence of national selector Sarandeep Singh, the seasoned campaigner hoped, “This is a big match and a good performance in this game counts a lot. Everyone is watching. I will try my best to come up with a performance to get noticed again.”
In case you didn’t know...
Prior to the Irani Cup match against Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat, Rest of India skipper Cheteshwar Pujara insisted that Pankaj will get an opportunity to return to the national side if he were to maintain his impressive form in the domestic circuit.
The heart of the matter
Gujarat have gotten off to a promising start by registering 358 in their first-innings and reducing Rest of India to 206/9 at the end of the second day’s play. Pankaj picked up four wickets but went for 104 runs from his 22.5 overs.
He will be eager to perform even better in the second innings and catch the eye of Sarandeep, who is the coach as well as the manager of his team.
The second innings should present a massive opportunity for Pankaj as Gujarat look set to eke out a decisive lead. He will be hoping to add a few lusty blows with the bat to frustrate Parthiv Patel’s side before taking the new-ball.
Pankaj has played just two Test matches with both of those coming in the 2014 series in England. India have a one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad next month and the selectors may consider resting their injury-prone fast bowlers ahead of the 4-Test series against Australia. Consequently, the 31-year-old’s name could come up for discussion.