Ashok Dinda was trudging back to third man after a gruelling over in the heat when Bengal teammate Anustup Majumdar ran to him with the good news. Dinda had made it to India's 15 for next month's Asia Cup.
If you thought that would have led to some chin music from the man who has taken wickets by the buckets this season, think again. With Assam's tailenders at the crease in Wednesday's Vijay Hazare Trophy zonal qualifier, Dinda instead sent a volley of slower deliveries and yorkers.
The lesson learnt in two years of exclusion from the India team prompted the fast bowler from East Midnapore district to use his remaining overs to test variations.
“The moment I got news of my selection, I thought of trying out some variation. Bangladesh pitches are similar to that in Bengal and so defensive bowling is the real deal there. You have to bowl in a way you can stop the flow of runs,” said Dinda, after Bengal had completed yet another emphatic win.
“I had been to Bangladesh once for a tri-series involving India and Sri Lanka. On those dead wickets you have be innovative,” said Dinda.
Asia Cup to Asia Cup, Dinda claims to have changed a lot. His last international appearance was against Sri Lanka just before the Asia Cup final in 2010 where he went wicketless for 39 runs off five overs, the costliest among all bowlers.
For Dinda, it was the start of the worst of times during which wasn't even considered for the Challengers Trophy. “But I had to be mentally strong. I have practised hard for this opportunity,” he said.
This time, Dinda almost barged into the India squad riding top-notch performances in the Ranji Trophy and the Duleep Trophy, including a career-best 8/123 against North Zone earlier this month. It wasn't a question of if but when for Dinda with the sort of numbers he had against his name.
Dinda though attributes selection to a few adjustments in his bowling. “I have altered my run-up and changed my length. I have practised for hours with a single wicket to aim at,” said Dinda. “Hopefully, all that hard work will help me do better this time.”