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‘Surprise’ call-up for Dinda

Calcutta: Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda will join the Indian squad for the first Test in Ahmedabad as a standby after Ishant Sharma reported sick with viral fever.

The move to include Dinda was seen more as a precautionary measure.

Ishant skipped the practice session on Tuesday, but the team management expects him to be fit for the Test, which starts from Thursday.

“Ishant Sharma has got viral fever. He is expected to be fit for the first Test between India and England... However, Ashok Dinda has been told to fly to Ahmedabad as a standby,” BCCI secretary Jagdale said in a press release.

Dinda, however, wants to enjoy the experience regardless of whether he finds a place in the final XI or not.

“So far I have been in the one-day and T20 squads only … So being in the Test squad will be an altogether new experience for me,” he told The Telegraph on Tuesday .

By his own admission, Dinda was surprised on his sudden inclusion after being snubbed by the national selectors.

“It’s certainly a dream come true for me. I wasn’t expecting a call especially after the squad was already announced. I was surprised.

“I was really upset when the selectors ignored me initially despite having performed consistently. Nevertheless, if I do get a chance, my job will be to stick to the basics and give my 100 per cent.

“Besides, I would like to put to use my experience with India A too, when we played against England in Mumbai,” the 28-year-old added.

On his insipid showing in the two Ranji Trophy matches this season, where Dinda managed just two wickets, the pacer said: “In the first match against Rajasthan, I had to play for seven consecutive days… That is always tough for the pacers. It did take a toll on my performance.

“In Mohali we were unlucky since the pitch offered nothing to the bowlers after the first day,” he pointed out.