Had given my 100% on Test debut - Pankaj
Pankaj Singh might not be best pacer India has ever produced, but no one can question the commitment of the Rajasthan bowler. If you speak to Pankaj about being distinctly unlucky during his debut Test match against England in Southampton, he will tell you what captain MS Dhoni told him during the tour.
"After I didn't get a wicket on my debut, people sympathised with me and [I] earned the tag of 'unlucky Pankaj', but MS told me that there is nothing called 'lucky' or 'unlucky'. It matters how honest your effort was, and I have no complaints regarding that," Pankaj told PTI, on the sidelines of the Duleep Trophy final.
Pankaj, who is trying hard to give Central Zone some hope after picking up three wickets against a challenging South Zone batting line-up, still looks back with disappointment at his no-show (0-179) on Test debut. "Obviously, there was a bit of disappointment but I had given my 100%. The figures obviously didn't reveal the true picture of my bowling."
He got two wickets in the next Test match at the Old Trafford but wasn't exactly happy having got the wickets late. "It wasn't exactly satisfying as I got wickets at the end of the innings. Also it wasn't classical fast-bowler's wickets. I am hopeful that I will be considered for selection during Australian tour."
On being considered a bowler best suited for longer formats, Pankaj said that he is not here to change perceptions. "Look, I can't change perceptions of people who think I can't bowl with the white ball. In my hand, there's only one thing [to control] and that is to perform. I will try to perform wherever I get a chance," said Pankaj, who will be leading Rajasthan in the domestic one-dayers, the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Having toiled hard on unresponsive Indian tracks, Pankaj sees this as a challenge rather than a difficulty. "I am happy to pick wickets on a batting track, as that gives me more satisfaction. That's where the challenge lies."
Making an impression for Central Zone on a day that belonged to South's KL Rahul, Pankaj felt that the ball was doing a bit in the last session today. "It was a challenge to bowl on this track but during one particular phase the ball was reversing," he said.