South Africa in India 2007-08 March 31, 2008

Kaif expected call-up

Cricinfo staff

Mohammad Kaif: Ready to seize the future © Cricinfo Ltd

Having earned a Test recall after nearly two years, Mohammad Kaif said he was expecting to be picked based on his domestic performance. He was named as replacement in the squad for the second Test against South Africa after Sachin Tendulkar was ruled out with a groin injury.

"I had scored some 1000 to 1200 runs," Kaif told the tabloid Mumbai Mirror. "A bulk of them were scored on tough wickets so the call was kind of expected." He scored 687 runs at 59.73 from eight Ranji Trophy games for Uttar Pradesh and 266 at 52.46 from two Duleep Trophy matches for Central Zone this season.

Kaif was dropped from the Test side after India's tour of West Indies in June 2006 despite scoring an unbeaten 148 in the second Test in St Lucia. "I had learned a lot during this period. I think whatever happens, happens for some good only. So I think there must have been some good reason of my being away from the Indian side.

"I must thank my supporters and those who stood by me in my bad period. I hope that the bad phase has ended and this selection will bring more good news for me in the future."

Though excited about being included in the squad, Kaif said India would no doubt miss Tendulkar. "Captain Anil Kumble will never have wanted him [Tendulkar] to be out of the side," Kaif said. But now I have got a chance and if I play, I will try and make the best out of it."