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VRV has overcome thrashing by KP

Vikram Raj Vir Singh, one of India's fastest bowlers, says words of comfort from Chappell and Dravid helped him get over the thrashing he got from Pietersen in the Indore ODI.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 14:28 IST

Vikram Raj Vir Singh, considered one of India's fastest bowlers, says words of comfort from cricket coach Greg Chappell and captain Rahul Dravid helped him get over the thrashing he got from England's Kevin Pieterson in the Indore ODI last month.

And this is evident here at the EurAsia Series, during which the 21-year-old Singh captured 11 wickets in just three matches ahead of Friday's final against Pakistan 'A'.

His best performance came in the match against the United Arab Emirates when he took five wickets, the same number as fellow pacer Rudra Pratap Singh.

In Indore, however, when VRV Singh was carted for 72 runs in seven overs, he could well have felt the world around him crash. But the lanky Chandigarh-based pacer — considered by some to be the fastest in India — sounded confident here.

"It was not a setback for me. And I didn't bowl badly that day," Singh told IANS in an interview at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Singh, lovingly called VRV, said Pieterson, who eventually turned out to be the most successful batsman of the ODI series on either side with 291 runs in five matches, just went berserk against the Indian attack.

The Englishman connected well and cleared the rather short boundary of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium to race to 64 off only 56 balls on April 15.

Senior members of the Indian team, like captain Dravid and Chappell quickly came to Singh's aid and calmed him on his return to the dressing room after the thrashing.

"They told me not to think about being hit and not to get tense," said Singh. "And that is why I am positive here in this EurAsia Series."

Regular yoga and meditation in the morning also helped the Punjab bowler overcome the shattering experience. "I have been practising yoga and meditation for about last two years," he said.

Although Singh was not picked in the Indian one-day squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, he has done well in the EurAsia Series to enhance his credentials.

Earlier in the season, Singh made a decent ODI debut, against England, in the sixth one-day international at Jamshedpur on April 12. He conceded 33 runs in five overs but failed to take a wicket.

Singh said he did not feel butterflies in his stomach when he rubbed shoulders in the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid since he had been with the squad as a non-playing member for two home Tests against Sri Lanka last year.

"Since I was with the squad in Delhi and Ahmedabad, I was not nervous. The ice had been broken there," he said. "I felt I already had an understanding with everyone when I made by debut in Jamshedpur."

Singh's idols are former speedsters Waqar Younis of Pakistan and Kapil Dev.

"I like Waqar's aggression, his way of bowling and the swing and cut that he managed," he said of the former Pakistan captain who is now his country's bowling coach.

Singh interacted with Kapil Dev briefly in the fast bowlers' camp in Bangalore in 2004 and would like to have a longer meeting with him and Waqar to gain from their experience.

Thanks to his performance and Chappell's persistence with him, Singh's rise to the Indian team has been the fastest among all players in recent times. He made his Ranji Trophy first-class debut in 2004-05 and within a season he was bowling for India. He would now look to cement his place in the side.