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Special plans for Pak, says RP

His ability to move the ball both ways seems to have helped seamer Rudra Pratap Singh cement his place in Team India, reports Sharad Deep.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2007 03:04 IST
Sharad Deep

His ability to move the ball both ways seems to have helped seamer Rudra Pratap Singh cement his place in Team India.

During India’s last tour of Pakistan, RP won the Man of the Match award in his debut Test at Faisalabad in January 2006 with a five-wicket haul on a virtually dead pitch. In the maiden Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa last month, the left-arm bowler showcased his talent once again, bagging 13 wickets in eight matches with a best of four for 13.

With 27 wickets in Tests, 42 in ODIs and 127 in first-class cricket, Rudra wants to win matches for India in the upcoming ODI series at home against Pakistan. Excerpts:

How are you preparing for the Pakistan series?

I have special plans. The Pakistani batsmen feel quite comfortable on the pitches here. To tackle them, I need to bowl to a specific field in the power plays.

The ball won’t swing much on the pitches here.

That’s true, but I will concentrate on basics like I do in every match. I will try and exploit the weaknesses of the Pakistani batsmen.

How do you view Inzamam-ul Haq’s absence from the team?

It’s a very big plus for us. His absence will have an impact on the series. Both Mohammad Yousuf and Shahid Afridi will be under pressure in his absence.

How did you prepare for the tour of Pakistan last year?

I knew that I wasn’t being considered a key player on the tour. But I was determined to excel. I gave my best and justified the selectors’ faith in me.

Do you feel any pressure for the upcoming series?

Playing at home always puts you under pressure. But, I have learnt to handle it now.

How do you rate Pakistan’s bowling attack, which boasts of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif?

They have a good attack. But our batsmen are experienced enough to tackle them. It will be an interesting battle.

Any special plan to handle Afridi as he was successful with the bat last time?

I have to concentrate on in-swingers and bowling close to the body to prevent him from freeing his arms.

Did you take any positives from the recent India-Australia series?

The Aussies are a good side. I learnt many things and the experience would help me be more organised against them the next time.

How helpful has Venkatesh Prasad been?

He has been of great technical help to bowlers like me. I always discuss new techniques with him.