I’ve been working on my strengths: Balaji
Chennai, Sep 10: India have started their season on a winning note by beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, followed by defeating New Zealand 2-0 in the recent Test series. The home team will be now looking to head to the2012 ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka on a winning note by beating the Black Caps in the second of the two T20Is tomorrow. The Men in Blue trained hard even during an optional practice session earlier today. Captain MS Dhoni and most of his team, including comeback man, L Balaji, were seen honing their skills under the Chennai sun.
Local boy, Balaji, who will be returning to the international side after three years, spoke about his return and the preparation leading up to it in a press conference after practice.
On being back in the Indian squad
All my years I have played here [at this ground] and it’s really great to be back in the squad after three years. I’m really looking forward to giving my best for my country. It’s an honour to represent your state and your country.
On why R Ashwin and Ashok Dinda did not practice today
No injury concerns it was optional practice. They chose to skip it.
On tomorrow’s T20I
I think every match is important when you represent your country. So I look forward to giving my best. Whatever I can do on the day, I will try to deliver on that day. I don’t look at it as expectations and if it’s a big tournament or not, I take it as representing my country and give my 100 percent.
On the environment in the dressing room
I think it is really good and I have played under many of these guys for a long time. It is been good and they are very warm. We had a fitness camp in Bangalore and that helped us get into the groove; so it’s really good.
On the aspects of his bowling that Joe Dawes has worked on
We have been working on several aspects of my game and what are my strengths. According to my strengths I have to keep recreating what comes to me naturally and that’s what we are trying to achieve.
On how he stayed motivated during the lay-off
I have been playing a lot of cricket. I was captaining the state side and it was an honour to lead them. It gives me a lot of opportunity to understand my own game and as well as my team’s perspective. It’s been a very competitive three years because I have not taken a big lay-off or anything. It’s been very competitive and challenging. I have been playing continuously in the IPL, Ranji Trophy, etc.
On whether it bothered him when he was not in the Indian team
No, nothing like that. Every day I wake up with the motivation that I will get to the highest level of cricket; that is to represent your country. Whether that’s once or a 100 times, it doesn’t matter, it’s still an honour. So, as long as you keep motivating yourself and keep pushing yourself to the goal, [you will get somewhere] and that’s the motivation I had.
On India’s pre-World T20 preparation
We have been practicing were well. There was a camp and that helped us. One match was washed out, but we have right now three matches before the World Cup. So definitely we will look forward to taking one game at a time.
On his role in the side
At the end of the day, you have to give your best to your side; that’s it. Whatever the captain expects from you, you have to deliver on the day and you have to look forward to giving the best on the field and the bowling options that you have. So, that’s what I have been doing.
On his individual preparations and his stint in the IPL
I have worked on my bowling a lot in the last two years. It has been great. The IPL is a great platform to understand what is there are the highest level and what we don’t get to do in local matches. It’s been a major aspect to our game. It has been the bridge to match up with international standards.