Aakash disappointed, but says "no regrets"

Published: Monday, April 19, 2004, 22:41 [IST]
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New Delhi: Opener Aakash Chopra on Monday said that even though he was "disappointed" at being dropped for the series-decider against Pakistan, he did not have any regrets as the decision had been taken in the best interest of the team.

Chopra was ignored for the third and series-deciding Test at Rawalpindi to accommodate Yuvraj Singh who had substituted for Sourav Ganguly, returning to the side after missing the first two Tests due to an injury.

"I was disappointed but I never felt that I was done in. I have no regrets at all for missing the Test as the team's interest is more important than individual feelings. I am happy that we could win the series," said Chopra.

The Rawalpindi Test saw wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel open the innings for India and impressed one and all with his career-best score of 69. Patel's success at the top of the batting order is certain to lead to a problem of plenty for the selectors when they meet to pick the team for India's next Test series -- against Australia at home in October.

But Chopra was undaunted, saying "they (selectors) know my capabilities and my strengths. So I won't go beyond what the captain told the media yesterday (Sunday)," the 26-year-old opener said referring to Ganguly's comments in Kolkata that Patel would not open the innings heceforth.

Chopra, who started his international career last year, said the Pakistan tour was a "memorable one" but the series in Australia had offered "tougher challenges."

"The Pakistan trip was brilliant and I am proud to be a part the team that made history. We went there after 15 years and won a series for the first time... it's quite memorable," said the player who has so far featured in eight Test matches.

"It's memorable quite like the Australian tour. But in Australia conditions were totally different and it was a tough challenge. Being an opener it was even more testing," he said.

Like the rest of his teammates, Chopra was overwhelmed with the reception the side enjoyed in Pakistan during the 39-day tour.

"It was a fantastic feeling. Their hospitality was terrific and it was an overwhelming experience."

And in order to utilise the break from international commitments, he is planning to play for a premier cricket club in England.

"I would be going to England where I would be playing for Rochdale Cricket Club in Central Lancashire," he said.

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