Akash Deep was on the field playing against Kerala when news filtered through in the Bengal dressing room that the speedster has been selected to the Indian team for the remaining three Tests against England.
Bengal coach Laxmi Rattan Shukla took a casual stroll along the boundary line and broke the news to Akash Deep who was fielding in the deep. The 27-year-old bowler was elated but wasn’t surprised at his selection.
Akash Deep, was in the radar of the selectors, after his good performance for India-A in the ‘Test’ against England Lions. Among those who were impressed by the fast bowler’s performance was chief selector Ajith Agarkar.
“I am happy and it’s every cricketer’s dream to play for the country. Having been selected, it is my responsibility to justify it. I am confident I can deliver for India if I play. It is like believing in your ability and doing things right.
“I have been performing well in the last few seasons for Bengal. I bowled well for India-A against England Lions and I was expecting a call up. So it wasn’t surprising.
“There is a healthy competition between fast bowlers in the Bengal squad and you have to push yourself hard and perform consistently well to be picked. I am grateful to all the people who have helped me at various stages of my career and I owe it to them,’’ said Akash Deep.
Subhmoy Das, the chairman of Bengal selectors, who was instrumental in giving the break to Akash Deep in the 2019-20 season, said the call up to the senior team was expected and the pacer deserved his selection.
“He has been a consistent wicket-taker for Bengal in domestic cricket. He has the pace and skills to succeed at the next level,’’ he said.