Monday morning in this quiet and serene town brought good tidings for left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh. Following his fine performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Indian cricket board's selection committee did not think twice before selecting him in the squad for the World Twenty20 Cup to be held in England next month.
The Deccan Chargers bowler has played in six matches in the ongoing IPL and snared 12 wickets with an economy rate of 6.26 runs per over, to make everyone sit up and take notice.
Following are excerpts of an exclusive interview with the bowler:
How much is the performance in the IPL going to help you in the World Cup?
I think it's going to help me a lot, because the formats in both tournaments are the same. Moreover, the IPL is happening just before the World Cup, which I feel, is going to benefit cricketers a lot. My feeling is we will perform well in England.
What is the secret behind your good performance here?
Nothing much. Just that I have been concentrating on my fitness. I have overcome the niggling problems I was facing with my fitness. I have also gained some self-confidence after playing quite a few T20 matches. My aim always is to give away as few runs as possible and earn a couple of wickets right at the beginning.
Doesn't your performance depend a lot on fitness?
Apart from fitness, a good showing also de pends on how many matches you have played without a break. If you don't get adequate match-practice, no matter how fit you are, you won't succeed. I have also played 10-12 domestic matches before coming to South Africa.
Another important aspect is one shouldn't fear bowling in T20 cricket. If we go with the mindset that batsmen will smash us all over the ground, then certainly they will rip you apart.
The selectors are wary of including you in the squad for fear that you might break down during long tours…
I don't think that's the case. They have their own job to do…they have to look at a lot of things. They choose players according to the requirements of the team.
Moreover, I've worked out on my fitness at the National Cricket Academy, and am following the regimen quite strictly. I think I've benefited a lot from my NCA stint.