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June 17, 2009
Abhishek Nayar feels his stint with the Mumbai Indians during the IPL in South Africa has played a huge part in his call-up to the Indian team for the ODI tour of West Indies. "I'm happy, ecstatic and looking forward to the challenge to represent India. I expected it, even then it was a pleasant surprise. I had a feeling I would be included in the side for the World Twenty20. That did not happen and I was disappointed, but I'm happy to be selected now", Nayar said after making it to the 16-member squad.
Having scored 206 runs in 14 matches at 25.75 in the inaugural season of the IPL, the 25-year-old allrounder managed 193 at 21.44, along with four wickets, in the second edition in South Africa, though he played one match less. The experience though served Nayar well, and rubbing shoulders with international players helped him develop as a talent. "Obviously, the IPL was a great experience. Playing with top international players and on an international stage gave me a fair idea of what it's all about," Nayar said.
He said the useful tips from his Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar proved to be very valuable. "Tendulkar told me I had a lot of heart. That was a great compliment. He told me not to get overawed, stick to the basics and play my natural game always", he said.
Nayar, who averages close to 44 after four first-class seasons, also played a key role in Mumbai winning the Ranji Trophy for the 38th time last season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.