ICC Champions Trophy, 2006 August 9, 2006

'I was expecting the call-up' - Rohit Sharma

Cricinfo staff

'He is a busy player, and makes batting look easy. He pulls and hooks well too' - Pravin Amre on Rohit Sharma © AFP

Rohit Sharma, the young Mumbai batsman who has been included in the 30-member Indian probables list for the upcoming Champions Trophy, said that he was expecting his call-up. " I heard the news on TV," he told The Times of India. "I was expecting the call-up as I had done well on the recent tour to Australia [with India A] in the Top End Series."

Sharma has not played a Ranji Trophy match yet but doesn't see it as a major handicap. "I know people say that one should get the experience of playing the first-class level and then graduate to the highest level," Sharma told Hindustan Times. "Maybe they are right but there have been cricketers who have played international cricket early in their careers and done well. I see no reason why I would not be able to cope with the pressure."

Sharma identifies his knock of 142 against North Zone in the Deodhar Trophy as a turning point in his career. "Selector Bhupinder Singh was watching the match and that innings changed things for me. Soon I was named in the Board President's XI against England and then for India A for the Eurasia Cup in Abu Dhabi. It was exciting to be among the big players."

Kiran More, the chairman of the selectors, reposed faith on Sharma. "He is a good talent. He got runs on the Abu Dhabi and Australian sojourns." Pravin Amre, chairman of the junior selectors and one who recommended Sharma for the West Zone team for Deodhar Trophy to More, spoke highly of Sharma. "He was one of our major run-getters in the Junior World Cup and the series against Australian Colts. He is a busy player, and makes batting look easy. He pulls and hooks well too."

Tejinder Pal Singh, the Railways allrounder, said his success during the India A team tour to Australia had made him "quietly confident of making the grade, whether among 22 names or 30". He took six wickets and made 181 runs in five games in the Top End series. He had starred in the warm-up game leading in to the series, scoring a century and picking up six wickets.

"My tour to Australia went off very well," he told The Indian Express. " I knew a few strong performances can clinch it for me. After that special net session with the Indian team [at a special invitation from More and Greg Chappell] More Sir told me all [the coaching staff and captain] were impressed with me and I should keep performing and the break would come soon."

Tejinder had been dropped from the Ranji squad and relegated to playing club cricket in Ludhiana but Vinod Sharma, Railway's coach, and Sanjay Bangar, Railway's captain, and Harvinder Singh, the fast bowler, had backed him and he earned a recall to the one-day team. Tejinder rewarded their trust by scoring 600 runs to earn a berth in the India A team for Eurasia Series in Abu Dhabi and the Top End Series.