No one knows the virtue of patience more than Pankaj Singh as his wait for a recall finally ended on Wednesday when he was named in the 18-member Indian Test team for the series against England.
"It was painful but worth the wait. To wait for a recall in the Test team for seven years (he went to Australia in 2007) required patience. Only I know how I used to feel all these years when I would keenly wait for a call-up. Finally, I have been recalled and I feel like the happiest person in the world," the 29-year-old fast bowler told PTI on Wednesday. (Read: Raina to lead Indian ODI team during Bangladesh tour)
However at the back of his mind, there was a glimmer of hope about being selected for the England tour. (Read: Uthappa named in Raina-led Indian ODI squad for Bangladesh tour)
"I have been consistently performing in domestic cricket. Season after season I was picking up 35 plus wickets. Initially, I was upset after I did not get picked by any franchise at the IPL auction but the main motivation was India's tour of England. I knew my bowling suits the conditions in England. I am happy that I have been recognized among top six fast bowlers in India." (Read: Gambhir Returns to Team India for England tour)
So frustrated was this gentle giant that he walked up to the VIP Box during one of the first-class matches this season after getting to know that national selector Roger Binny had come to watch the match.
"Well, I could not meet the national selector then because by the time I went upto the VIP box, he had left. I just wanted to politely know as to what I needed to do in terms of performance in order to get into the national team," said Pankaj.
Pankaj feels that he needs to give equal emphasis to both pace and swing during the tour of England.
"I have to make use of whatever opportunities I get," said the seamer, who has taken 300 first-class wickets from 77 matches.
"I have the capability of bowling at 140 kmph as well as ability to swing the ball both sides. The English conditions would suit my style of bowling," said Pankaj.
Rajasthan might have been banned by BCCI due to its feud with Lalit Modi but Pankaj's inclusion is a step by BCCI to ensure that the parent body is not anti-cricket.