Praveen Kumar fit and raring to go

Lucknow: Medium pacer Praveen Kumar is on the path to recovery and will stake claim to an India berth in the home series against Australia in February-March next year.

The swing bowler, who has been undergoing rehabilitation for tennis elbow at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore,
said on Thursday that he would play for quarterfinalists Uttar Pradesh in next month's Ranji Trophy match.

"It's painful when you miss big matches for the national side. To prove that I am match fit, I will be targetting the Ranji Trophy knockout game to come back into the national side," Praveen said on Thursday. "I have recovered and am looking forward to an opportunity ahead of the Australia tour."

Praveen, who was a revelation during India's disastrous tour of England last year, has been plagued by injuries. He missed the 2011 World Cup at home because of the tennis elbow and then missed out on the tour of Down Under last winter due to a rib injury.

"I am a bit unlucky. It (injuries) happens whenever I am planning something big in my career. But this time, I am not going to lose the opportunity as this is the right time to stage a comeback." Praveen has taken 27 wickets in six Tests and has 77 scalps in 68 ODIs.