“I am looking forward to it,” said S. Badrinath on his selection to the Indian team. “I have been waiting for this for some time now. Right from the time I got my first first class century (against Karnataka in 2000).
“To play for India,” noted Badrinath, “has been a dream. I know I have been improving at every stage. I had to work on a few things and the learning experience has been wonderful.
“There has been a difference in my game in the last five years. But I always backed myself and believed that I would make it to the Indian Test team,” he said.
Even as he looked forward to taking on the South Africans, Badrinath remembered all the people who helped him. “My family comes first for all the sacrifices it made in helping me pursue my cricket. I am indebted to my employers (India Cements) and my coaches (Abdul Jabbar and Jai Kumar).”
Rahul Dravid had spoken glowingly about the ‘tall fast bowler’ and Abhimanyu Mithun lived up to his expectations by breaking into the Indian team for the first Test against South Africa next month.
“I always wanted to do well and the seniors in the team gave me a lot of confidence. Our team coach (Sanath Kumar) has always been encouraging. On the field, Vinay (Kumar) was a constant help,” said a beaming Mithun.
Dravid had advised him to plan for the season and go about the job normally. “Dravid Sir told me to enjoy my cricket. I am happy I have got this chance.
“I knew I would make it and was waiting for the call (from the selectors),” said Mithun.
Sanath described Mithun as a tremendous talent. “I was happy with the pace he generated and how he planned his dismissals. I told him not to sacrifice his pace. He will go far,” said Sanath.
Saha’s dream realised
Our Principal Correspondent in Kolkata adds
On his selection to the squad for the Nagpur Test, Wriddhiman Saha said the opportunity would be a realisation of his dream of sharing the dressing room with childhood hero Sachin Tendulkar.
The wicket-keeper batsman said his selection was only start of the challenge of finding a place in the playing eleven.
“More and more practice is the need of the hour. I’ll be going there with a good mental make-up and shall wait for my chance,” Saha said.