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RP Singh shares Test experience

"There is a thin line between aggression and sledging and one must keep this in mind always,” RP tells Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat. Sharad Deep reports.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2008 03:46 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times
Back from Oz

Indian speedster Rudra Pratap Singh believes aggression in a seam bowler was okay, as long as one knew the limits.

"There is a thin line between aggression and sledging and one must keep this in mind always,” RP told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat on his return to the state capital after being ruled out of the ODI Series in Australia due to a hamstring injury. “Sporting spirit must prevail both on and off the field.”

The 22-year-old left-arm seamer, who took 13 wickets during the Test series in Australia, will visit temples in Varanasi and Vindhyachal (Mirzapur) next week. He said he did not plan his achievement in the Test series against Australia.

“Prior to leaving for Australia, I was concentrating on my strength, but was never too sure I would deliver such a performance,” RP said at the sprawling ‘Rudra Villa’, his residence, soon after reaching Lucknow on Friday morning.

“I made some changes in my bowling technique in Australia and am satisfied with my current speed (around 135kph). Undoubtedly, the experience in Australia helped me enhance my knowledge of the game. I feel I have improved.”

RP, who also showed his might with the bat knocking 30 crucial runs against Australia, claimed that it was possible only
because of training coupled with grit.

He, however, accepted that “lack of match practice” before the series cost India heavily in the first Test in Melbourne. “Our practice match couldn’t take place and we didn’t get adequate practice there. That was the only reason we lost the opening Test,” said RP, also known as the ‘Rae Bareili Express’.

On the Harbhajan-Symonds row in the Sydney Test, he refused to go into detail, but claimed that it made India more united than ever and more aggressive in the Perth Test.

“The BCCI and the senior players helped us get more aggressive. Going into the Perth Test, we knew would win,” he said. RP, who has bagged 40 wickets in 11 Tests so far, was ruled out for two weeks after suffering a Grade-1 hamstring tear on the second day of the fourth and final Test in Adelaide last week. He will visit the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore on February 10 to start working
on physical fitness process under the guidance of Dav Whatmore, the NCA’s Director of Operations.

“I am hopeful of resuming my training, especially bowling, within a week after training there,” said RP. “I am missing the ODI series.”
About his future, RP said he was already planning for the upcoming home series against South Africa. “They (SA) are a good side and I will try my best to make some more variations in my bowling to challenge them.”