Competition between pacers good for the team: Agarkar

Published: Wednesday, June 9, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Medium pacer Ajit Agarkar said on Wednesday that heightened competition for slots of seamers in the national team is healthy, and personally he has the motivation to get into the squad.

Agarkar said in Bangalore that he is working hard. "It's not up to me whether I get picked or not. My job is to do what I can do best and work on my game and try to improve. That's what I am trying to do," he said.

"I have gained a lot of confidence after the Australian trip...so, (looking to) carry that forward," he said. "I guess when you are not in the team, that gives you extra motivation to do well and get back (into the team)...probably prove to yourself that you are good enough to be at that level (national).

"I have always said playing for India is probably the easiest way to motivate yourself. It's not difficult at all."

Asked if he felt "overshadowed" by young pacers like L Balaji and Irfan Pathan, Agarkar, who is in Bangalore attending the fitness camp for pace bowlers, said competition is always healthy.

Agarkar said: "It (competition) is always well for the team that there are five or six guys who actually fight for spots in the team. It always keeps you on your toes. I always said I don't worry about what someone else does or wants to do. I just worry about what my job is and how well I can do it.

"It's always nice. They (Balaji and Pathan) have done fantastically well since the Australian trip. It only helps the side, if there are more guys performing at the same time."

Asked if he is confident of getting a slot in the team, Agarkar laughed off the question, saying the question should be addressed to selectors or skipper Sourav Ganguly.

"I missed most of the Pakistan series because of injury. I just played one Test...it's new season now....we got down to fitness training. That (whether he would be selected or not) is not in my hands. That's something I don't worry about."

Asked if he is completely fit now, he said, "absolutely".

Agarkar said he has lots of personal goals for the coming season but would keep them to himself. He said he has used the off-season working on his weaknesses, minimising injuries and staying fit for longer periods of time.

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