Veteran Badani hopeful of making a comeback

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Talented middle-order bat Hemang Badani is taking heart from the recall of senior players to the Indian side and hopes the 'frustrating look-ahead policy' has seen its end.

Badani, a veteran of 40 ODIs is here to play Twenty-20 for Chemplast.

Talking to UNI, the polished left-hander, whose two years in international cricket were characterised by a calm head, said, ''I am hopeful of making a comeback. I have taken heart from the recall of seniors like Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, V V S Laxman and Dinesh Mongia.

''The current team of selectors led by Mr Dilip Vengsarkar is giving prime importance to current form and fitness. Previously it was a little frustrating when we saw the selectors were looking only at youngsters,'' he said.

''I am fit and in form and can compete with the youths, so sometime down the line I hope for a place,'' said the 30 year old, who was the natural choice in the middle order filling in Ajay Jadeja's shoes, in the post match-fixing controversy era.

After a successful Challenger series and a fair domestic outing he was expecting a call back to the side, but that did not happen.

''I can't brood over what has not happened. I can only score runs and hope for the best. It is disappointing being overlooked,'' he said.

Badani even plans to play county next season, hoping that like Zaheer Khan and Dinesh Mongia it could do him a star-turn.

Badani, who made his debut against Bangladesh, attributes his sea-saw international career to two injuries that had taken him out of the game when he was at his prime.

''One back injury and another fracture in the hand came at crucial times when I was doing really well,'' said Hemang who played his last ODI against Pakistan in Karachi in 2004.

The high point of Badani's career was a wonderful century against Australia in Pune in 2001-02. Another gritty ton in the Ranji final of 2002-03, followed immediately by a good tour of England as vice-captain of the A team, meant he was in the thick of things again. He came back for one game against Pakistan, before once again going back to riding the pine.


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