Hope to cement my place in the national team: Dinda

Kolkata: Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda on Wednesday expressed delight after being named in India`s 15-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup cricket tournament in Dhaka and hoped to cement his place in the national cricket team.

Having being in and out of the Indian team with five one-dayers and three T20 Internationals under his belt, Dinda said though it was great to be back, he has a long way to go.

"It feels great to be back... but it does not end here. I hope to get an opportunity (in the playing XI) and cement a place with a good show," said Dinda on the sidelines of Bengal-Assam match of the East Zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here at the Eden Gardens.

After being ignored for the Australia tour, Dinda worked hard to bag 59 first-class wickets, including a career best 8 for 123 in East Zone`s triumphant Duleep Trophy campaign.

The 27-year-old emerged as the season`s highest wicket-taker for Bengal.

"Yes, it`s my best season... but there was no short cut to success. A lot of hard work was involved. For a long time, I would bowl alone, aiming at a single stump to hone my line and length. It has worked," said Dinda.

"The credit goes to everybody. My friends, well-wishers, present and past Bengal coaches with whom I`ve shared the Bengal dressing room," he added.

Dinda had last played for India in the last edition of the Asia Cup. The tournament was held in Sri Lanka two years back.

Dinda, who has been signed up by Pune Warriors India for the upcoming IPL V, said the condition in Bangladesh was a lot similar to that of Kolkata so adjusting there would not be an issue.

"Weather-wise, it`s very much similar to here. Besides, I had been there for a tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The pitch and ground conditions are known to me," revealed Dinda, an admirer of New Zealand`s Shane Bond and Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan.

The fast bowler, who came to Kolkata with his uncle in 1998 as his first coach Atal Dey Burman spotted talent in him, said he would be prepared mentally to face the challenges in Asia Cup, starting on March 11.

"One has to prepare mentally. You have to be mentally strong for the challenges at this level," Dinda insisted.


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