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'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

February 05, 2014 10:55 IST

'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

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Manu Shankar

'I was disappointed not to get a game in Zimbabwe. Anybody in the same situation would be.'

'Having said that, I was never disheartened. It keeps me motivated to work harder and overcome whatever weaknesses I have in my game and get into the Indian team,' Jammu and Kashmir Captain Parvez Rasool tells Rediff.com's Manu Shankar.

As the big guns floundered, Jammu and Kashmir emerged the surprise package in the Ranji Trophy season by making it to the quarter-finals.

Although the team could not progress to the last four, Jammu and Kashmir gave Punjab worrying moments in the fourth innings run chase before bowing out.

Jammu and Kashmir's pace trio of Mohammed Mudhasir (32 wickets), Ram Dayal (28 wickets) and Samiullah Beigh (35 wickets) were, perhaps, the most consistent fast bowlers in this season's Ranji Trophy, picking 95 wickets from nine matches.

The Parvez Rasool-led team made India take notice of a bunch of youngsters with minimum facilities and large hearts.

Rasool, the first cricketer from the Kashmir valley to play the Indian Premier League, discusses the Jammu and Kashmir team's performance and his chances of being the consistent all-rounder India badly needs in this interview with Rediff.com's Manu Shankar.

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Image: Parvez Rasool.


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Manu Shankar

Jammu and Kashmir surprised many with the performance this season...

It has been a good season for us. I would say the success of this season should be credited to our performances last year.

We won a couple of games and drew a couple of games against tougher opposition. Obviously, this season has been better in the sense that we made it to the quarter-finals.

It was last year's performance that made others sit up and take notice of us.

At the start of this season I told the team that we make it to the North Zone team, but unfortunately never get to make it to the team's playing eleven.

So we need to perform to get noticed and one can only get noticed by winning matches.

If you see, we won four matches, lost two and drew two. It was an improvement from last year.

Perhaps, the most important part was that the selectors came to watch us play.

Not surprisingly, your contribution was the most significant.

Thanks to the Almighty, this year I continued from my last season.

Last season too was a good one for me personally, as I scored 593 runs and picked 33 wickets.

This season I have done well with the bat, scoring two centuries and three half centuries.

Although I could only take 27 wickets this season, I always give my 100 per cent and will try to make a case for myself in the Indian team.

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Image: Parvez Rasool in action for India.


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'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

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Manu Shankar

The lack of facilities that other states enjoy makes the season's performance even more commendable...

Of course! Let me tell you, without facilities to come up with such performances against opponents who enjoy all the latest resources -- ones who prepare throughout the year -- is truly an achievement.

The other Ranji teams play three-day games as a part of their preparation for the season, but we only meet during the start of the season or during a T20 game.

So it shows we have the talent to compete with the best.

If we get better facilities you will not only see us winning more matches, but also one of us making it into the Indian side soon.

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Image: Parvez Rasool, right, with team mates.

Tags: T20

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'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

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Manu Shankar

What problems do you face?

There are many problems! First of all, there is no infrastructure in place, then we just have two grounds, one in Jammu and other one in Srinagar.

Besides the weather is such in J&K that from November we cannot have any game for six months.

Lack of an indoor facility leaves us very little time for practice.

Then we do not have good turf wickets.

We need an indoor academy, where the players can practice even in the off season.

Are you optimistic of things improving after the team's impressive performance?

Definitely! Last year, after our performance, many corporates came forward in support.

We had the J&K Corporate Premier League, a T20 league, but it was a start.

I hope the association will come up with better facilities and give the best for the boys who train so hard.

This year we plan to start work on the academy and, hopefully, soon we will provide the best facilities for the boys.

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Photographs: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
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'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

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Manu Shankar

Which match was your personal best?

The match against Tripura, which was a do-or-die contest, was a good one for me. The team performed like a champion side.

The weather was dicey there and if we didn't bundle them out cheaply, then things could have been difficult for us.

I had a seven wicket haul (7-160) and scored a quickfire 35, which was quite important for our average.

Another one was in the quarters, where I scored a century in the first innings against a tough bowling attack like Punjab.

Someone suggested that if you have to improve as a bowler you need to move out of J&K.

Right now, nothing of that sort is on my mind.

Whatever I have achieved so far it has been from J&K.

I would like to better my performances next year and pave the way for the Indian team.

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Image: Parvez Rasool.

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'Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team'

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Manu Shankar

You were part of the Indian team for the Zimbabwe series, but did not get a game.

Is there a sense of disappointment? Does it motivate you to do better?

I was disappointed not to get a game. Anybody in the same situation would be.

You travel with the Indian team and had the series already in the pocket.

Having said that, I was never disheartened.

It keeps me motivated to work harder and overcome whatever weaknesses I have in my game and get into the team.

The Indian team needs a consistent all-rounder. Do you think you have a chance?

Only runs and wickets will get me into the Indian team, so I need to concentrate on that.

I have left that to the selectors.

My job is to perform consistently and ensure I score runs and pick wickets.


Photographs: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Tags: Zimbabwe

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