Ranadeb Bose was in the fishbowl on Friday, after being one of the watchers from the sidelines prior to that.
Life in that unenviable, indeterminate state, when you’ve made the grade past Ranji Trophy but are yet to play a Test for India, when the games you get are few and far between, can be difficult. Bose, for instance, has got just two games on the tour of England — against Sussex at Hove and now against Sri Lanka A.
It can’t have been easy, being so close and yet so far from realising a lifetime’s dream, with the knowledge that the first-choice pacers are more or less unshakeable.
“I needed to get my rhythm back — it takes time to get used to the centre wicket — and get my outswingers going,” Bose, who took five wickets against Sri Lanka A on Friday, said.
Asked why he was most effective in the afternoon, picking four of his five wickets after the lunch break, Bose said: “Obviously, I bowl better with old ball.”
“I haven’t played for a while now, and though I have been bowling in the nets, that is very different from bowling in a match,” Bose said. The 28-year-old Bengal paceman did say that bowling in the nets has been a very useful experience.
“In the nets, we have been bowling to batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh, who are the best in India,” Bose said. “You can learn a lot bowling against them.”
And from the first-choice bowlers as well, especially Zaheer Khan.
“I am rookie while Zaheer, Sreesanth and RP are experienced campaigners, and I’ve been learning from them,” he said.
And has he tried to implement in the middle things he’s learnt from his senior pace colleagues?
“Well, at this point, I’m not in a position to change anything in my bowling,” he said. “I left Kolkata when I was playing club cricket, and there is no possibility of doing something drastically different.”
Something different, though, that has pleased him is the quality of wickets here, even though the track here has not been very helpful.
“See, we come from the subcontinent and obviously we should not complain about the wickets here!” he said. “Here, my focus was on bowling in the right areas, pitching the ball at the right length. It helped me today.”
And it just might help him if and when the team looks for other options, but Bose says he’s not really losing sleep over when he would get a Test cap.
“Obviously, we’ve won a game and everyone did well,” Bose said. “If my chance comes, I’ll try to prove myself. But I’m not thinking about whether I’ll get a chance or not. The best team must play.”
“I believe in destiny… If I’m destined to play a Test, I will,” Bose declared.