New Delhi: Pankaj Singh might not be best pacer that India has ever produced but no one can ever question the commitment of this lion-hearted bowler from Rajasthan. But if you speak to Pankaj about being distinctly unlucky during his debut Test match against England at Southampton, the lanky bowler will tell you what skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told him during the tour.
"After I didn't get a wicket on my debut, people sympathized with me and earned the tag of "Unlucky Pankaj" but MS told me that there is nothing called "lucky" or "unlucky". It matters how honest your effort was and I have no complaints regarding that," Pankaj told PTI on the sidelines of the Duleep Trophy final.
The Sultanpur-born seamer, who is trying hard to give Central Zone some hope after picking up three early wickets against a tough South Zone batting, still looks back with disappointment post a no show (0-179) on Test debut.
"Obviously, there was a bit of disappointment but I had given my hundred percent. The figures obviously didn't reveal the true picture of my bowling." He got two wickets in the next Test match at the Old Trafford but wasn't exactly happy having got the wickets of tail-enders.
"It wasn't exactly satisfying as I got wickets at the end of the innings. Also it wasn't classical fast bowler's wickets. I am hopeful that I will be considered for selection during Australian tour."
On being considered a bowler best suited for longer formats, Pankaj said that he is not here to change perceptions. "Look, I can't change perceptions of people who think I can't bowl with white ball. In my hand, there's only one thing and that is to perform. I will try to perform wherever I get a chance," said Pankaj, who will be leading Rajasthan in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Having toiled hard on unresponsive Indian shirtfronts, Pankaj sees this as a challenge rather than difficulty. "I am happy to pick wickets on a bating track as that gives me more satisfaction. That's where the challenge lies."
Making an impression for Central Zone on a day that belonged to South centurian Lokesh Rahul, Pankaj today felt that the ball was doing a bit in the last session. "It was a challenge to bowl on this track but during one particular phase the ball was reversing," said Pankaj.