India in West Indies, 2011 May 13, 2011

Badrinath was expecting the India call-up

S Badrinath has said that he was expecting his selection for the ODI series against West Indies after three years in the wilderness. Badrinath was disappointed after losing his central contract last season but that inspired him to regroup and reset his targets.

"I was expecting it [the selection call] to be honest. I have been really playing well in recent times and there was news floating around that I would be selected," Badrinath said. "Since I was out for three years in ODIs, it really feels good to be back."

Though he lost his place in ODIs, he last played for India in February 2010 in the Test series against South Africa. He was soon dropped from the side and lost his central contract later.

"I was disappointed losing the contract as it meant I wasn't part of the whole system. I was out of sight. It was a tough phase. I sat down after that and charted out where I wanted to go. I set my goals and wanted to come back. They say you learn more from your failures than your success and it's true for me."

Badrinath had a stellar domestic season and that form continued into this year's IPL. He said he never had any doubt that he would be unable to make a comeback to the national team. "There wasn't one day I thought I will never get back. I just had that fire in me. I have been always striving to be a better player and concentrated on the process. IPL was a huge help; you learn from big cricketers who constantly strive to keep improving. Once you do that, you are going to get just better."

His critics have cited his age - 30 years - as a deterring factor but Badrinath said it made him work that much harder on his fitness. "Why do they say one is old - it's just about fitness. I have really worked very hard to be fit. I always pride on my fitness."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo