India news December 28, 2012

Praveen targeting Ranji knockouts for comeback

ESPNcricinfo staff

Praveen Kumar, the India seamer, is hopeful of his inclusion in the Indian squad to face Australia at home in February-March.* Praveen, who has been training at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, is undergoing rehabilitation from a tennis elbow that also forced him to miss the World Cup.

Praveen had fruitful tours of West Indies and England in 2011, but then missed the tour of Australia due to a chest injury. Although he played in the Commonwealth Bank series, the Asia Cup and the IPL this year, his form dipped, and he hasn't played any international cricket since.

"It's painful when you miss big matches for the national side. To prove that I am match fit, I will be targetting the Ranji Trophy knockout game to come back into the national side," Praveen told the Hindustan Times. "I have recovered and am looking forward to an opportunity ahead of the Australia tour." He has played just one match this Ranji season.

Praveen, who expressed his frustration at being ignored for the series against New Zealand in August, scored a half-century and took three wickets in the Challenger Trophy in September.

"I am a bit unlucky. It (injuries) happens whenever I am planning something big in my career. But this time, I am not going to lose the opportunity as this is the right time to stage a comeback."

*10:17pm, December 28: The piece had initially stated that Praveen Kumar is an allrounder. This has been corrected.