"I always had faith in my abilities and knew it was only a matter of time before I would be back among the runs," Sourav Ganguly stated with confidence on Monday, after scoring a first-class century after a year's duration.
Ganguly last scored a century in a Ranji Trophy game against Maharashtra in November 2005. Since then, he has endured a lean patch. But that changed on Monday when he scored an enthralling century to give himself hope to get a spot in the Test team for the tour of South Africa.
Asked whether this century has changed the equations about his future, Ganguly was non-committal. "My job is to score runs and the rest is up to the selectors, in whom I have a lot of faith," he stated.
Asked what he did differently on Monday to play such a sterling knock, Ganguly said it was his determination and decisiveness that made his day.
"I was determined to play a big knock today. I was under immense pressure to do well but pressure is something I've faced all my life and I'm happy that I came through this test. It was a very important century, but not my best. Also, I concentrated hard and judged well which ball to play and which ball to leave," the southpaw explained.
On the new selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar, Ganguly said that he had a lot of respect for the former Mumbai mainstay.
"He's someone who has played a lot of cricket and knows what it takes to compete and perform at the international level. He is a former India captain and he knows what would make the best India XI. I have a lot of faith in him," he remarked.
Ganguly also said he won't be resting on his laurels on Tuesday and hoped he would go on to get a really big score.
"I still have a job to do. We are far from safe and I hope that I can play a big one and help my team," he said.
Ganguly was also effusive in his praise for North paceman Ashish Nehra, saying that the left-arm medium-pacer was bowling really well, although he marked Punjab off-spinner Rajesh Sharma as the man who could be tricky to negotiate on this slow, turning track.
Meanwhile, the two national selectors present here, Raju and Biswal, said they were very impressed with Ganguly's knock and expected the former India captain to keep on performing well. They refused to take queries on whether he would be selected for the African tour or not.
Almost all the North players too sang Ganguly's praises, including Nehra and Gautam Gambhir, saying his steadfast application and immaculate strokeplay was something to be marvelled at.