Rajkot: A back injury during Team India’s 2001 visit to Sri Lanka forced Sadagopan Ramesh to make himself unavailable for the tour of South Africa, later that year. As it turned out, the national selectors forgot about him — so much so, he wasn’t even among the 36 pre-season probables picked around two months ago.
However, in wanting to be “fair,” the selectors chose the left-handed opener for the India A versus New Zealand game here. On Friday, Day II of the three-day match, Ramesh ‘thanked’ the quintet by authoring a smart 110 (275 minutes, 206 balls, 19x4). For Syed Kirmani and Co, it’s really a reminder of his worth.
“The last two years have been frustrating... Both for me and my family... Now, I’ve at least made something out of this opportunity... It’s been a long while coming but, hopefully, more opportunities have been created. Who did I think of on getting to hundred' My family and everybody who kept encouraging me,” Ramesh told The Telegraph soon after his innings ended in somewhat controversial manner.
Later, interacting with the Media, he said: “I’ve done my job... But, whether I’ll make a comeback doesn’t depend on me... Is there a sense of relief' Absolutely, but I would have been happier with some more runs...”
Somewhat emotionally, Ramesh added: “I take every day as it comes... I’ll be happy if I’m back; I’ll look to making the most of the next opportunity if I’m not... But, yes, I’ve tightened my play and big occasions will continue to motivate.”
In a nice gesture, he was pretty lavish in praising ‘competitor’ Akash Chopra: “He is technically very sound... He did well today (Friday).” Ramesh and Akash put on 164 before the latter fell to the only poor shot he played.
In Ramesh’s opinion, the wicket at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground has been a “good” one.