The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ĎI have no expectations, just wish to do wellí
- Not getting a call last season deflated me...Today, Iíve matured: Deep Dasgupta

Rajkot: Itís a comeback of sorts for Bengalís Deep Dasgupta, but the wicketkeeper-batsman isnít putting himself under pressure by acknowledging he must come good in the three-day match versus New Zealand, beginning on Thursday.

Deep wasnít among the three wicketkeepers (Ajay Ratra, Parthiv Patel and Thilak Naidu) named as the pre-season probables, but has been picked for the India A side which takes on Stephen Flemingís men at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground here.

According to The Telegraphís sources, the national selectors have finally given Deep an opportunity as they havenít been too pleased with Parthiv and Ratraís batting. In any case, captain Sourav Ganguly has often been pressing for the 26-year-oldís recall.

ďOf course, everybody will say itís a huge game for me... But, mentally, Iíve undergone a change from last season... Then, in wanting to make a return, I put myself under pressure in every first-class match. Not so now...Frankly, I have no expectations ó I just wish to do well,Ē Deep pointed out, speaking exclusively on Wednesday evening.

Deep played eight Tests in succession, between November 2001 and April 2002, but didnít get another chance after that first Test (Georgetown) in the West Indies. Barring his debut (Bloemfontein), he kept wickets and opened, allowing Sourav and coach John Wright the luxury of accommodating an extra player.

In fact, Deep accepted the challenge of opening at a time some highly-rated seniors chose not to put their reputation on the line. In seven Tests as opener, he struck one hundred (Mohali) and two fifties (Port Elizabeth and Ahmedabad). The fifties, specially, came during a crisis.

By Deepís own admission, his exclusion did affect him. ďWorse, I was so keen to make a comeback, last season, that not getting the call deflated me...Today, Iíve matured and am not putting all the eggs in one basket. If Iím recalled, fine, otherwise Iíll work harder,Ē he said.

Asked whether he had particularly worked on his íkeeping ó which, significantly, would invite much criticism ó Deep answered: ďIíve been focussing on the basics, yes...But, more than that, Iíve stopped talking to a million people and have concentrated on my own style...In the past, I listened to everybody and experimented in the middle of a series. Looking back, that was a mistake.Ē

Incidentally, he spent the summer playing for the Norwich Wanderers in England.

Deep insists he has learnt from the past. However, to really catch the eye of Syed Kirmani and Co., he will have to be flawless both behind and in front of the wickets. Clearly, Deep wonít have anybody to blame if he canít make the most of this opportunity.

After all, not every Team India berth is sealed.

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