Indore: In the absence of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar, the burden of leading the Indian attack against the West Indies in the ongoing ODI series has fallen on R Vinay Kumar, who is relishing this new role.
"It feels great to be leading the Indian attack. (Bowling with) the new ball suits me very well because I am more a swing bowler and the new ball helps me a lot," said the Bangalore-based bowler at the pre-match media conference ahead of the fourth ODI here on Thursday.
Vinay has taken five wickets so far in the first three games of the five-match ODI series at an impressive average of 21.80, the best among the Indian bowlers.
The pacer feels that the new ICC rule from October 1 that different balls will be used from the two ends in the one-dayers, has helped swing bowlers like him to move the ball for longer periods.
"It (The rule) definitely helps the swing bowlers. Normally it used to stop swinging after a few overs. Now it keeps swinging till 15 overs. If there is no dew then the ball will reverse," he said.
Vinay, meanwhile, continues to hope to make the Test team for which the selectors have ignored him despite his consistent performance for his state team - Karnataka - in the Ranji Trophy where he has grabbed 241 wickets over the last seven seasons.
"No, I don't want to say anything about that (ignored for Tests). Definitely, I would love to play Test cricket and hope my day will come," said the fast bowler, whose younger Karnataka teammate Abhimanyu Mithun has already played Tests for India and is now also included in the touring squad to Australia later this month.
For now he is focusing on the task at hand - the West Indies ODI series. He said that the track prepared for the fourth one-dayer appeares to be a batting-friendly wicket.
"There is some grass. It looks to be a batting wicket," he said.
Vinay dismissed suggestions that the Indian team was a bit down after the 16-run loss in the third match against the West Indies at Ahmedabad on December 5.
"(The loss has had) no effect on the team. All are eager to play and do well in this game," he insisted.
The net session on Wednesday was skipped by R Ashwin, Parthiv Patel and Mithun, and Vinay clarified that "it was an optional practice session" here at the Holkar Stadium.