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I will wait for my time: Mongia

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 07, 2004 18:34 IST
Last Updated: September 07, 2004 21:32 IST

Dinesh Mongia was one of the favourites to replace the injured Sachin Tendulkar in the Indian team for the ICC Champions Trophy. But it was middle-order batsman Rohan Gavaskar who was drafted into the team eventually.

"Ratnakar Shetty (joint-secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India) called me and told me that I should be ready to join the team. I got a call telling me to go to London and report to John Wright, coach, and the manager, Gautam Das Gupta. I met them in London on Monday, but I was told that Rohan Gavaskar would fill in the place for Sachin Tendulkar," Mongia told on phone from London.

Mongia has just finished his assignment with Lancashire.

"I am now planning to fly back to India next week. I will wait for my time," he added.

Asked if he felt miserable about not being included in the side after an alert from the BCCI joint-secretary, Mongia said he would prefer to concentrate on his game.

Mongia did extremely well in county league this season and most experts reckon he would have been a better fit in the Indian team than Rohan Gavaskar.

He played six first class matches (9 innings) for Lancashire and scored 470 runs, including two centuries and two half-centuries at an average of 67.14. He also scalped five wickets at 31.40, with an impressive economy rate of 3.11.

In the Twenty20 Cup, he was one of Lancashire's star performers. He scored 112 runs in 4 matches at 37.33, at a strike rate of 131.76. But it was his bowling that was surprisingly effective. He claimed eight wickets at an astonishing average of just 6.50. He also had the best economy rate in the tournament, conceding a miserly 4.00 runs per over, with a strike rate of 9.7.

"Nobody can replace Sachin Tendulkar, who is God in the eyes of Indian cricket fans. I would have been delighted to fill in the place for the little master. But I was not lucky enough to do that," he said with a touch of emotion.

Talking about the rather disappointing performance of the Indian tem in the recently-concluded NatWest Challenge against England, Mongia said the team has the ability to fight back.

"This is a temporary setback and one should not worry too much about it," he said.

Mongia last played for India in the triangular series between India, Bangladesh and South Africa in April 2003. The title was shared between India and South Africa after rain forced the match to be abandoned.

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