India news August 11, 2013

Badrinath wants to 'make a statement' to selectors

ESPNcricinfo staff

S Badrinath, the India batsman, is eager to make a comeback to the national team and will use the upcoming domestic season to "make a statement" to the selection panel.

"I want to make a statement this season. It's not just with words, I want to do it with my bat," Badrinath told Deccan Chronicle. "I want to do something big which will let the national selectors know that I'm here to perform. And that's what I tried to do two years ago when I was the highest run-getter [in 2010-11]. I want to give my best and play with authority."

Badrinath made a half-century on Test debut at home against South Africa in 2010 but got only one more Test before being dropped. He was picked in the ODI team for the West Indies tour after a strong performance in the 2010-11 domestic season, where he finished as the highest run-getter in the first-class format, scoring 1226 runs in 12 matches. After VVS Laxman retired from international cricket in August 2012, Badrinath was selected in the India squad for the Tests against New Zealand but didn't get a game. He hasn't played for India since June 2011, when he got three ODI innings in West Indies but failed to capitalise.

When asked how he felt about his continued exclusion, Badrinath said: "I would love to hear an answer from someone. I don't have an answer. I scored a fifty on my Test debut against South Africa and we lost that match. We won the next match with me having just one hit with the bat. I haven't played a Test since then.

"After Laxman retired, I was drafted into the team against New Zealand but I didn't play a single match and, in the next series, I lost my place. After that I never got a chance. I don't want to complain or sulk saying that I haven't been in the team. I'm approaching this season with my fate in my hands."

While he continues to be ignored by the India selectors, Badrinath has enjoyed success under the national captain MS Dhoni in the IPL, with 1441 runs in 67 innings at a strike-rate of 118.89 for his franchise Chennai Super Kings. Badrinath said that while Twenty20 did not come naturally to him, he had adapted well to the format.

"T20 is not my natural game. I have a different set of skills and I don't think stamping authority means only hitting sixes," Badrinath said. "Playing a crucial role in winning is important. I know I'm not a [Suresh] Raina or a Dhoni. I have played a few ODIs for the country and a lot of List A and T20 domestic matches. I would like to be known as a player who can play all the three formats. I don't want to be branded as a Test or ODI or T20 player. I have always strived to be a cricketer for all seasons. I have been doing well for CSK under pressure situations."