'I wasn't surprised at my inclusion'
His last minute inclusion in the playing XI in place of injured Praveen Kumar has raised quite a few eyebrows, but India pacer R P Singh has insisted that he was not at all surprised at his selection for the ongoing fourth and final cricket Test against England in London.
R P Singh, who was drafted into the Indian squad following pace spearhead Zaheer Khan's injury, hardly played a first class tie over the last few months and it showed during his opening spell on the first day of the match on Thursday.
But the left-arm pacer defended himself, saying he was not far from regaining the good form he showed back in 2007 when he grabbed 12 wickets from three Tests at 28.92.
"2007 is a long time back. But I've learnt a few more things like how to bring an inswing to a left-hand batsman. I just need a good click," R P Singh said.
"I wasn't surprised at my inclusion. I have been working on my fitness at home. I came here to play and was waiting for my turn," he added.
Image: Rudra Pratap Singh appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Alastair Cook on Thursday
Photographs: Getty Images
R P Singh looked far from fit
R P Singh said he was informed of his inclusion in the playing eleven only on Thursday morning after Praveen pulled out due to an ankle injury.
"I was told in the morning after warm-up when PK reported he wasn't fully fit. The coach and captain then informed me that I was playing," he said.
During his opening spell (7 overs, 19 runs) on Thursday, R P Singh looked far from match fit. He lacked pace and penetration to trouble the in-form England batsmen, but the bowler felt otherwise.
"I played some matches in the IPL and a few club matches. Our domestic season lasts from September to March, so yes there weren't many four-day games but I am quite fit for the matches," R P said.
Image: R P Singh
'I was initially nervous'
He, however, admitted that returning to Test cricket after a gap of more than three years, initially made him nervous and so he struggled against the English opening duo of captain Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.
"I was initially nervous, that's why in the first over I bowled here and there, but I gradually got my line and length," said the Uttar Pradesh fast bowler, who looked rusty during the rain-marred day.
With the series already out of their grasp, R P Singh said the visitors will look to win the Oval Test and end the four-Test rubber on a positive note.
"We will aim for win and go all-out. We want to leave a good impact," he said.
Image: R P Singh