Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar believes that a good show for Kings XI Punjab in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be a stepping stone towards earning a berth in the national side.
Nayar, who is capable of occupying the crease for long hours as well as giving the ball a whack, will try and catch the attention of national selectors with his performance in the T20 league beginning on Friday.
"I am looking forward to have a good IPL outing. My first aim is to win the fourth edition of the league for my new team. Normally, a good IPL performance makes people take note of you. If everything goes well and god willing, I am confident of finding a place in the national side," Nayar said.
"I will perform to my fullest in the tournament and leave rest to God. Right now I just want to focus on the task at hand. I need to handle many things and have to bring the best out of me," he added.
The well-built former Mumbai Indians player is a useful right-arm medium-pacer who has time and again given his native state crucial breakthroughs in the Ranji Trophy.
His useful contributions with the bat in the middle-order helped Mumbai successfully defend the premier domestic title in 2006.
Since being bought by MI before the 2008 edition, Nayar had been a regular with the team until the Punjab outfit bought the player for USD 8,00,000 (Rs 36,800,000) at the players' auction in January for the next three seasons.
Nayar said the absence of star players would not affect his side's chances in the fourth edition as the Punjab outfit has got a decent combination in its rank.
During the players' auction in Bangalore, Kings XI lost out on several key performers including World Cup man-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh and Sri Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who played for them in the first three seasons.
They bought 10 players in the auction including four Indians in the form of Nayar, wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and seamer Praveen Kumar.
"No, I don't think the absence of star players will affect the team's chances in the upcoming edition. We have got enough talent and depth in all three departments of the game. Of course, they all were world-class players but I think in Twenty20 format that doesn't count for much.
"We have the perfect blend of youth and experience and the young players are ready to share the responsibility with the seniors. We have the right combination of players. All have good amount of T20 experience under their belt," he said.
With the inspirational Adam Gilchrist as captain, Nayar said, he is confident of a good show from the team.
The former Australia wicket-keeper, who led Deccan Chargers to the title in its second season in 2009, was bought by Kings XI on the first day of the auction for USD 900,000.
"He is the right man to lead the side. He is an inspirational leader. It will be really exciting playing with him. He not only brings leadership quality but also vast knowledge of the game."
On Kings XI's chances, Nayar said, "We all are working really hard. It's all about the team effort and, as long as team is putting in 100 per cent, every task is achievable."
"The atmosphere in the team is very good. Whatever happened in the past is past and it's all about starting a new season with a new approach. We are all ready for the challenge," he said.