India news February 21, 2014

'Keen to be part of 2015 World Cup squad' - Praveen

ESPNcricinfo staff

Praveen Kumar, the India fast bowler, expressed his disappointment at not being bought during the IPL auction, stating the tournament would have helped his chances of a comeback. The pace bowler last played for India in the Asia Cup in March 2012 but said he was aiming to play the 2015 World Cup.

Since his exclusion from the Indian team, Praveen has struggled with fitness and disciplinary issues. He couldn't play a full domestic first-class season in 2012-13 due to injury and his comeback was marred by a suspension, earned by an angry outburst against a player during a Corporate Trophy match in February 2013. He returned to play a few List A games and the 2013 IPL season but injuries kept him out of the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy. The bowler said he would go back to domestic cricket to try and fight his way back into the India side for the World Cup.

"Frankly, I didn't expect to go unsold. I have done well at all levels, be it IPL, Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy or international cricket," Praveen told Times of India. "It's just that my shoulder injury took a long time to heal.

"IPL is a great tournament and it would have given me the opportunity to make a comeback. I was disappointed, but I am prepared to work hard again. I reached this level by working hard and that's what I need to do again.

"I will go back to the domestic circuit, prove myself again and make a comeback. Last time I missed out playing the World Cup narrowly. There's still time left for the World Cup and I am keen to be a part of the squad."

Praveen, who was a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2008 to 2010 before a move to Kings XI Punjab in 2011, said he had recovered fully from the shoulder injury he had suffered during last year's IPL.

"The shoulder is in good shape now. I don't have any pain and have been bowling well," he said. "People said I could have opted for surgery a bit earlier, but I followed the advice of the experts at the National Cricket Academy and got it done when they told me to go for it."

When asked if fitness concerns prompted franchises to avoid buying him, Praveen said he could only prove he was "still useful". "I don't know. Only they can answer," he said. "Getting selected in any team is not in my hand. What I can do is to work hard again and prove that I am still useful.

"I was keen to play Ranji Trophy this season. I have always enjoyed playing first-class cricket. It gives an opportunity to bowl long spells but unfortunately my surgery happened during the season."