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A stepping stone for Kaif

New Delhi: Mohammed Kaif wants to use his stint with Derbyshire as a stepping stone for a return to the Test team. The 22-year-old, firmly established in the Indian one-day side with a series of match-winning performances over the last year, is now gunning for a permanent place in the Test squad.

I plan to take my job at Derbyshire very seriously, Kaif said before leaving for England. As the overseas pro, Id like to not only help my team but also use the opportunity to develop my own game, learn to play long innings and get into the Test side.

Kaif has already had a baptism by fire in the Indian Test team during his debut as a 19-year-old against South Africa in 2000. He scored 12 and 23 in a losing cause in Bangalore and failed again in three Tests in Sri Lanka the following year.

But on the one-day front, he has not looked back since making his debut against England early last year. Kaif has scored 1,072 runs in 53 matches at 30.62.

His most celebrated knock was an unbeaten 87 against England in the tri-series final at Lords to enable India chase an unlikely 326 for victory.

He said: Ive learnt a lot over the last year as a member of the one-day team. I can handle short bowling a lot better now. Im sure the County experience where Ill play against some of the best players in the world, will only add to that. (REUTERS)

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