Mumbai: Paceman Ajit Agarkar, a key member of Indian one-day squad, is willing to take up the difficult responsibility of bowling in the death overs, saying he has the experience to do a good job. Agarkar says he has learnt the art of mixing up his deliveries, which are essential to be able to make an impact in the slog overs.
``I am quite comfortable bowling at the death. I am quite experienced and know what needs to be done. It may not always work out well as the batsmen are looking out for big hits,'' he said.
``You have to mix up deliveries too which is anyway essential in one-day cricket, mixing up the pace a bit,'' he said.
The 29-year-old Agarkar, currently the country's most-capped and successful bowler in ODIs, has been included in the list of 30 probables and appears to be a certainty in India's World Cup squad, to be announced on February 12.
Agarkar feels that the matches from now in the lead-up to the World Cup are important and the upcoming series against Sri Lanka assume more importance as the visitor is placed in India's group.
``Obviously the series against Sri Lanka is very important. They are a very good side and have a good record recently away from home. They are also in our group (Group B along with Bangladesh and Bermuda) in the World Cup,'' Agarkar said.
Agarkar, who has captured 270 wickets in his 178 ODI appearances at an average of 27.41, said, unlike the 2003 World Cup in which he was only a bench-warmer, he was looking forward to prove his mettle in the Caribbean.
``I am looking forward to playing in the World Cup matches, provided I am selected. I did not get a single game in the last event,'' he said. But the seamer, who was part of the Mumbai side that won the Ranji Trophy for the 37th time, is cautious about his selection in the World Cup squad. ``You can't take things for granted,'' he said.
Agarkar, who took nine wickets in five matches to become India's best bowler on the last tour to the Caribbean, said one year back the wickets in the islands were quite slower.
``The wickets in April and also in 2001-02 (when he took six wickets in three matches) were slow and pretty similar. They were good wickets to bat on. You have to bowl pretty straight and in the right areas. Anyway with the power plays in operation these virtues are needed,'' he said.
But Agarkar said he was not sure how the wickets would be during the World Cup in March-April. ``I have heard from a lot of people that the wickets have been re-laid (since India's visit). I cannot say for sure (on how they would behave),'' he said.
Agarkar, who is also a handy lower-order batsman, said he occasionally got chances to bat for longer periods. "At Cuttack I had a lot of overs to bat. But generally when you are batting at number nine this does not happen. Hopefully, our top order will perform well and not give us (lower order batsmen) opportunities to bat for long,'' he said." The bowler with a whippy action said he was eager to get back into the Indian Test squad sooner than later. PTI