Durban: After being selected in South Africa`s provisional World Cup squad on Monday, Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir said if he finds a place in the final 15-member team he will give his 100 per cent for his adopted country in the mega-event starting next month.
Tahir, who recently qualified to play for South Africa, has replaced batsman Jonathan Vandiar in the 30-man preliminary World Cup squad, which will be jointly co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2.
"It`s a very big honour for me. It`s the only dream I`ve had. It`s every cricketers dream to play in the World Cup. I am very pleased to be in the top 30 players list. Hopefully, I get picked (in the final squad) and I will give my 100 per cent for South Africa," said the 31-year-old leg-spinner, who earlier represented Pakistan A.
Tahir became eligible to play for South Africa last month when he was granted citizenship of the African country and was soon picked up in the one-day squad for the five match series against India starting Wednesday.
"It`s always tough for a spinner to bowl against India but I`ve got nothing to lose. I`ve been bowling well, the whole season. I`ve bowled well in country cricket and I am confident of doing well if given a chance," he said.
After marrying a South African Tahir is settled in Durban, where he plays for the city-based Dolphins. He also emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the four-day SuperSport Series, scalping a whopping 42 wickets in just five matches.
"I have always been an attacking bowler. I might go for runs but I will get wickets and I think that`s my role. But whatever suits the team, I will bowl accordingly.”
"But I am more than happy to go for a few runs and get a few wickets. Bowling leg-spin is difficult and maybe that`s why a lot of young people don`t do it," Tahir said.
Tahir is expected to make his debut against India in the first ODI here on Wednesday and the leg-spinner said the Kingsmead track will suit his style of bowling.
"Durban is my home ground and I`m quite confident. There been a bit of both bounce and turn here. The groundsmen have been preparing some nice wickets and I`ve been bowling really well here. I have confident to of doing well here if I get an opportunity," he said.