No rivalry with Laxman for India berth: Mongia

Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Hyderabad:Indian cricketer Dinesh Mongia dismissed the rumours of his rivalry with V V S Laxman about getting a place in the Indian One-day squad.

He clarified that there was no rivalry between them while interacting with the media on the eve of Punjab's last Ranji tie against hosts Hyderabad here.

He said, ''Laxman is a great player. I have respect for him. I don't see a rival in him. Neither I took his place in the Indian team for the 2003 World Cup nor I still compete with him.

''I am very much positive. I just play my own game. If the selectors wish, my claim for a place in the squad would be realised.

I play positive cricket, we are all professionals and everybody tries to give 100 per cent. We cannot relax,'' he added.

On stiff competition for middle order slots, he said ''I don't give room for these things in my mind. I love this game and enjoy playing the game. It is not my job to come into the side or not, I just play my own game. It is the selectors' job to pick the players. If they give me a chance I will play in Test cricket too''.

Commenting on his chances of playing in the World Cup in West Indies, Mongia said, ''Who knows, who will play in the World Cup. It is two months away from now. Before that we have series against West Indies and Sri Lanka. If the selectors give me a chance to play, I would represent my country and try to give 100 per cent effort''.

Mongia played 55 ODIs and scored 1,196 runs with 28.47 average. His highest score is 159 not out and has one century and four half centuries to his credit.

After World Cup 2003 he lost his place in the Indian team. To regain his place and form he took his journey to English counties.

He was standing in for Carl Hooper at Lancashire as overseas player.

With good performances in counties, Mongia had once again clinched a place in the Indian team. He is now under pressure with just one half century in the four One-dayers he played this season.


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