Parvinder Awana was hurt after being initially ignored from the India A squad for the tour of West Indies but when Chetan Chauhan called up in the morning to inform about his inclusion in place of an injured RP Singh, he was left speechless.
"I went numb when I got a call from Chauhan sir informing me about my selection. When I expected it, I wasn't selected and when I wasn't expecting a call-up, it came as a pleasant surprise. Chalo der aaye par durust aaye (Better late than never). Getting to wear an India shirt at any level is a great honour," an ecstatic Awana said on Saturday.
Having got 57 first-class wickets in the last domestic season, Awana has been one of the finds of this IPL, getting 17 wickets for Kings XI Punjab.
"This year's Ranji Trophy has been the turning point in my career. I was consistent throughout the season and that boosted my confidence during IPL. I wasn't overawed during IPL simply because I was bowling well.
"What IPL gave me was instant recognition. Now people in the streets recognise my face and ask for autographs," the lad who hails from Harolla village near Noida, said.
The character of pitches in the Caribbean has seen a sea change but Awana isn't perturbed that strips would be slower in nature.
"I have grown up bowling at the Kotla which is not known for producing bouncy strips. The important thing is to find the right area on any surface. There are two particular spells I remember. One in the second innings against Baroda and the other when I came back on the second day against East Zone to get six wickets," said the speedster.
Asked about the area he is working upon, Awana said,"I need to work on getting a bit more control over swing. My strength is to hit the deck and move the ball both ways after pitching. But ability to move the ball in the air is something I still need to work upon."
Asked if he is hoping to find a berth in the World T20 squad, the 25-year-old said he wants to take it "one step at a time".
"Right now, my entire focus would be on series against West Indies 'A'. There is no point looking too far ahead. If I can be consistent and remain injury-free, I would certainly play for the senior team as well," the soft-spoken Awana signed off.