New Delhi: His inclusion in the 30-member probables list has come as a whiff of fresh air for Ashok Dinda, who was in the wilderness for nearly 22 months, after he had played his 13th one day international for India.
"You can say that I am relieved and satisfied that my performances in domestic cricket has been recognised. Being in the 30-member World Cup probables list is an assurance that I am there in the mix. But the road ahead is very tough and I have to focus on performing in each and every match," Dinda told PTI from Baroda, where he will be spearheading Bengal's bowling attack against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy opener.
Will World Cup selection create any additional pressure to perform, the carefree Dinda replied,"When I play for Bengal, the only thing that I keep in mind is to take atleast five wickets and help the team win. It won't be any different. World Cup won't be at the back of my mind. If I can perform well, the selectors will definitely reward me for my efforts," said Dinda, who has taken 19 wickets in eight List A matches this season.
For someone, who has bravely carried Bengal attack for the past three seasons, Dinda admitted that he felt a bit "demotivated" when he was completely out of the scheme of things even after getting 40 wickets in Ranji Trophy last season.
"I did feel a bit sad that I was not even there in India A side but I did not let that affect my performance. In fact, the more I am under pressure, the better I start bowling. Check the record books, you will see, I have been getting bulk of the wickets for Bengal with others chipping in with a wicket or two. But that's what I enjoy.
"Additional pressure only motivates me and makes me more determined to perform," said the 30-year-old, who hails from remote Naichanpur village, in West Bengal.
While playing for India, there was a T20 match against England in Mumbai back in 2012, where Eoin Morgan hit him for a last ball six and he got a lot of flak for bowling a fuller last delivery.
"No one wants to lose a match. There were 9 runs required in the final over. I gave it my all but Morgan played better cricket during that particular over. I knew that I had tried my best but things just didn't work out," said the feisty pacer.
He said that his effort in the Deodhar Trophy final,
where he guided East to title triumph with figures of 4/33 was close to best he had bowled in a one day game.
"The length that I hit, the pace that I generated and the movement that I was able to extract were perfect in terms of limited overs game. My coach Atal Deb Barman also told me that if I can consistently produce this kind of performance, then I would definitely do well at the next level," said Dinda.
Criticisms of being a one-dimensional bowler, who, basically loves peppering the batsmen with short stuff, had been levelled against him but the speedster is unperturbed.
"I have played 20-odd international games for India (22 to be precise which includes 13 ODIs and 9 T20 Internationals) and played in all seven editions of IPL.
"Obviously, it's with experience that you develop variations. If you closely look at my bowling, I can bowl the wide yorkers or the slow bouncers, which are effective in limited overs format," said Dinda.