Calcutta: With 59 wickets, Ashok Dinda was the most successful bowler in the domestic circuit last season. No doubt then that the national selectors rewarded him with a berth in the Indian team for the Asia Cup and the consecutive series.
However, after his selection, Dinda could make his foray into the first XI only five times in the one-day Internationals and only twice in the Twenty20 Internationals. He made good use of the opportunities to take six wickets in ODIs and five in T20Is.
Still, Dinda has always found himself getting snubbed on most occasions, which is a bit strange, considering the poor form of the other fast bowlers in the Indian team. But Dinda is not one to lose heart. As if to prove that his performances were no fluke, Dinda sizzled in the first match of the season when he snared seven South Zone batsmen for East Zone on the last day of the Duleep Trophy match, on Wednesday.
Dinda was, obviously, happy with his performance. Talking to The Telegraph from Visakhapatnam, Dinda said: “I bowled according to a simple plan… Since we had already taken the lead, my plan was to contain the batsmen and see to it that they don’t overhaul the target. I didn’t want to give away easy runs. I kept the ball in the right areas. The opponent batsmen, somehow, found the ball hard to play. It is one of the most memorable spells that I have bowled.”
Asked whether the performance was a way of proving a point to the team management, Dinda said: “I have a firm resolve that I have to feature regularly in the first XI. I always try to see the positive side of every event. Whenever I get snubbed, it means that I need to work harder. I didn’t try to prove a point today. I only want to keep performing… I’m hopeful about that my hard work will pay off.”
Dinda revealed that he absorbs whatever experience is on offer while he is on the India squad. “I try to learn from each and every opportunity I get… I have learnt a lot about how to reverse swing the ball. I think I have improved a lot. I’m a better bowler now,” said Dinda.
The pacer hopes that he makes the Test squad for the England series, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 15. “Test cricket is the ultimate test for any cricketer. Like everyone, it is also my dream to play Test cricket for India. I am keeping my fingers crossed.”
To make the cut, Dinda is aiming to perform well in the Duleep final against Central Zone, which is scheduled to start in Chennai from Sunday.
“I want to give 100 per cent to ensure that East retain the Trophy. I’m confident that I will perform well. If I can put up an impressive performance, I may make the cut,” Dinda signed off.