Over the past year, Parvinder Awana, the right-arm Delhi paceman included in the India squad for the Nagpur Test, has bowled about 450 overs at a brisk pace and picked over 50 wickets in first-class cricket.
In Bangalore, he scalped five to help Delhi dismiss Karnataka for 192 on the
first day and when Delhi were struggling at 144/7 on Sunday, he hit a 74 to overhaul the total.
It is this energy, ‘always coming at the opponent’ that earned him a Test slot.
"He bowls long spells at good pace. That's what got him here. He hits the deck hard and gets movement off the wicket. His cutters are effective," says Delhi Ranji team chief coach Vijay Dahiya, who has seen Awana bowl relentlessly on dead Ferozshah Kotla tracks this season, especially in a fourth round match where his four scalps were instrumental in getting Delhi points on the first innings lead against a strong Tamil Nadu line-up.
Delhi coach Sanjeev Sharma, who has guided him through the last two seasons, says, "He worked hard honestly on the areas he should bowl. There is one express delivery that snakes in and that has got him a lot of wickets with the new ball."
The selectors needed someone who could bend his back for long periods and bowl consistently at 135-140 kph. Awana fitted the bill. They have another domestic workhorse Ashok Dinda in the squad.
"I told him the bouncer would be effective at his pace. And he worked on it, getting four wickets off it against Central in zonal one-dayer," said Sharma.
Awana, who came to the fore after winning a speedster contest in early 2000s, was lucky last season as injury to first-choice Delhi bowlers brought him back into the team and he has never looked back since.
A native of Araula village in Noida, Awana says it is a big challenge but he is up for it. "I'll concentrate on doing the basics right, especially the rhythm. I am in form and that'll definitely help."