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Pankaj unfazed by OZ track record

"My speed and movement on both sides on the fast pitches of Australia would certainly give me an edge." Pankaj Singh told to Sharad Deep.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2007 22:16 IST
Sharad Deep

PANKAJ SINGH seems to be very excited about his prospect of playing against World Champions Australia in the upcoming series, beginning December 20. The new entrant in Team India's pace battery for the series, Pankaj was confident of doing well on the Oz tour, if given a chance, and for this he was committed since the day he came to know his selection in the team.

The lanky seamer was unfazed with the track record of Australian side, and claimed: "Instead of Team India, it would be Australia to remain under pressure on home turf. ''Team India is not at all concerned about the mental pressure and would only aim playing good cricket.''

Talking to Hindustan Times during his brief stay at the Amausi Airport here on Friday morning on way to his native Amethi in Sultanpur district, Pankaj said: ''I will concentrate on my line and length on the tour as I have been doing in the domestic circuit this season."

"My speed and movement on both sides on the fast pitches of Australia would certainly give me an edge."

He also claimed that "every player owns a different identity and people take his cognisance in due course. And I am at all worrying about my own identity in the presence of speedsters Zahir Khan and Rudra Pratap Singh."

''My time has started and I will certainly perform accordingly, so that I can also come on the list of other speedsters like Zahir and RP,'' he commented.

Asked if youngsters are proving too good for the old guards in Team India, the young speedster, representing Rajasthan in the domestic cricket, maintained that although many a youngsters have made it to the squad, senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguli were also contributing much for the team.

He accepted that although he was yet to play for Team India, he knew about Anil Kumble and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. ''Both are good at handling the youngsters and keeping a balance in the team.''

Pankaj said he was on top of the world after getting the news about his selection for the Australian tour, but now he will have to perform accordingly to justify his selection. ''Now I am concerned about my performance and know that only good bowling rate will see me through in future,'' he said.

Reacting on the fitness problem of fast bowlers, Pankaj said only a good physio-trainer can counter such problems. ''The physio-trainer of Rajasthan is very good and he helps a lot to keep me fit for every match,'' he added. Pankaj will be at his native village Baheta in Gauriganj, Amethi for two days before leaving for Mumbai. A function to honour the young cricketer will also be held there on Saturday.