Australian tour a challenge for me: Pankaj

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Jaipur: ''It is a challenge for me and I will try my best to perform well in Australia and settle myself as permanant member of Team India,'' said newly selected Rajasthan pacer Pankaj Singh today.

Twenty-two-year-old Pankaj, who arrived here this morning from Jhalawar after playing in Ranji Trophy Super League tie against Mumbai, said he was confident to find a place in Team India.

''I was thrilled to know about my selection from RCA deputy president Bimal Soni on telephone from Delhi,'' he said.

Rajasthan Sports Minister Yunus Khan has complimented Pankaj, who is scheduled to join his Team India team-mates on December 16.

Son of an ex-serviceman, Pankaj, who hails from Sultanpur, has so far taken 26 wickets in the current Ranji season in five matches.

It is only after three decades that a player from Rajasthan has got a Test cap. Gagan Khoda had the distinction of representing India in two one-dayers against Bangladesh and Kenya.

When Pankaj received the information of his selection in Jhalawar, the whole Rajasthan team there was delighted and each member of the team congratulated him and the local people too celebrated by playing bands and drums and distributed sweets.

Pankaj, who had represented India A team on a tour to Kenya and South Africa, expressed gratitude to Munnavar Ali, who had guided him at the initial stage of his career.

He has also thanked former Rajasthan Test Cricketer Parthasarthi Sharma, former Rajasthan Ranji captain Vinod Mathur and Taposh Chatterjee.

Pankaj mentioned special word of praise for former Test Cricketer Ajay Jadeja under whose leadership Rajathan team had qualified from the Plate Group to Elite Super League round. Pankaj had received valuable guidence from Jadeja.

Pankaj said he had already been in touch with Team India bowling coach Ventash Prasad and he would learn more from him on the Australian tour.

He added he will concentrate on his bowling but if the opportunity comes his way he can prove his worth as an all-rounder too.


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