Bangalore, June 13: With Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth ruled out of India's upcoming Tests against the West Indies, speedster Abhimanyu Mithun gets another shot at proving his worth. As a rookie, he had replaced Zaheer in last year's tour of Sri Lanka, but was waived aside in favour of Jaidev Unadkat for India's Test series in South Africa in Dec 2010.
"It feels good to be picked again," the 21-year-old Mithun told a leading Indian newspaper after a practice session on Saturday. "I did expect to go to South Africa but ... I am hoping to get a chance and prove myself again, like I did on my debut in Sri Lanka."
Mithun bowled his heart out during the series in Sri Lanka, taking 6 wickets at an average of 62 on mostly unresponsive wickets. He was of course, disappointing to have been sidelined for the trip to South Africa. But he took the snub in his stride and instead played recipient to consolatory advice from coaches and well-wishers.
"Initially I felt sad and at the net sessions that followed I did lose some concentration, focus and so on. Fortunately for me, a lot of people spoke to me and advised me well. Everyone encouraged me, told me I am a good bowler.
When questioned as to whether Test cricket posed too much pressure to handle, Mithun said he actually found it easier than playing domestic cricket as he didn't have to take on the role of leading the attack.
"I found it easier in the Tests. There I was a rookie, I only had to look after my bowling, for which to the seniors were very much around to help. I was freer in a way."
Mithun is expected to take the new ball when India clash with the Windies in the first Test on June 20. Some good news for Mithun is that the pitch he will be playing on - Sabina Park, Jamaica - is supportive of seam bowling. Now can he spring a few surprises?