Dinda soars into national contention

Ashok Dinda during an ODI vs Zimbabwe in 2010

Mail Today - Ashok Dinda’s performance in the ongoing domestic season has made him a strong contender to be selected for the national team.

The Bengal fast bowler has bagged 52 wickets this season in eight matches, including two 10-wicket hauls. Whenever Bengal needed a wicket, they have thrown the ball to him and the gritty bowler has not disappointed often.

The 27-year-old has grown from strength to strength with every outing and played a stellar role in East Zone making it to the final of the Duleep Trophy.

He took seven wickets against West Zone and then single-handedly ran through the North Zone batting on the flat Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, with careerbest figures of eight for 123.

Dinda is one of those rare pacemen who do not fear bowling on flat wickets. Instead it brings the best out of him, like it did at the Kotla. "If I have to get wickets on these pitches, I have to put in more hard work and sustain the intensity. It is easy to get wickets when conditions are favourable, but it is a challenge to take wickets on flat pitches," Dinda told MAIL TODAY. "For that, you have to be strong. I have worked on building my strength and fitness. This is the best that I have bowled in my career. The coach of the Bengal team (WV Raman) and my own coach (Atal Dev Burman) have fine-tuned my bowling. As the wickets kept coming my way this season, I bowled with more and more confidence."

Dinda made headlines after playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in 2008. He got selected for the ODIs on the tour of Zimbabwe in 2010, but has played only five matches in his international career so far. "If I get a chance, I will have to maintain my performance. It really motivates me to hear that people are talking about me. It helps me perform better."

Sourav Ganguly has been one of Dinda's biggest supporters and the paceman duly acknowledges the role played by the former India captain. "I have played lot of my first class cricket under him and he has been a guiding force. He always tells me which line to bowl and his suggestions have helped me improve as a bowler."