Sairaj Bahutule was a disappointed man when his name did not appear in any of the three teams for the Challenger series or the conditioning camp for the 25 probables in Chennai. But the 27-year-old leg spinner from Mumbai was delighted when told by the chairman of the selection committee Chandu Borde to make himself available at the camp in Chennai by February 15. Bahutule spoke to CricInfo in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Q: How do you feel now that you have been asked to join the conditioning camp?
A: I am very excited about it. I am really looking forward to the camp as I will get to learn a lot. I would like to do a good job and prove a point. This has come at the right time for me. Even though I am not well, I should be ready by the time I reach the camp.
Q: How much have you changed since your International debut?
A: I have changed a lot. My attitude towards the game has also changed and I have learned to be more competitive in my game plan. I had a few rough areas that I have worked on. I have accepted my mistakes and tried my best to rectify them. I used to make errors but never realised them. Now it's different. I have began learning from each experience and tried to come out stronger every time.
Q: Have far have you developed your bowling armoury?
A: I am not just a leg spinner but an allrounder. I have been working very hard on my batting and fielding. I have developed to be good in all three departments. I have been batting well in the Inter-office tournaments and the club matches and also been doing well in the field. I have also improved my bowling skills and learned to be more patient.
Q: How are you preparing for the Australia game at the CCI?
A: I am really very keen on that match. I will be able to learn a lot from that game. The Australians are one of the toughest teams and the most competitive in the world of cricket. The last time they were here, I was not part of the Mumbai team as I was away in Pakistan. This time I will be hoping to be part of the team and do well against them.
Q: Do you think you can match Shane Warne in that match, being the only leg spinner for Mumbai?
A: Certainly I will be looking up to that game and even to Shane Warne. He is a terrific bowler, and highly competitive. He is a living master of the art and I can really get to learn a lot of things from him. His attitude and armoury is brilliant and I will be trying to match him in spinning skills.
Q: What are your hopes from the camp?
A: I am very hopeful from this call and I think I can make a good mark at Chennai. I have not been able to meet the new coach since he has been appointed. There I will get an opportunity to display my skills for the first time to the coach John Wright. I think I will be able to perform as an allrounder more than just a leg spinner. I am hoping that they consider me as an allrounder. At the camp, I could pick up some valuable advice and tips to improve my game even further.