New Delhi: By his own admission, it has been quite a struggle for 25-year-old Parvinder Awana during his five years of first-class cricket and the snub from national selectors for India A's tour of West Indies is just another addition to that list.
"Obviously, when you get 57 wickets in the domestic season, you expect a call-up. I was hurt initially but this rejection has made me even more determined to perform even better in the next domestic season. I haven't spoken to anyone after the news of the team selection came out. Just spoke to my folks and informed them that I haven't been selected," Awana said.
Awana, who has taken 110 first-class wickets from 32 matches, said that struggle is not something new for him. "I have never got anything easily in my life. Even when I have played for Delhi, I have treated each and every match as my last opportunity. I have been conditioned in such a way that I have learnt to take rejections in my stride. You don't stop working hard because you have been rejected.
"Everyone has been watching my performance in the IPL. International cricketers like Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey have praised my performance and that in itself is a huge boost," Awana said.
Having got nine wickets from five IPL games, Awana's inclusion in the playing XI has been like a breath of fresh air for Kings XI Punjab. "In one of the matches, I clocked 147 kmph. I have been hitting late 130's and early 140 kmph quite regularly which means my rhythm has been good. Gilly [Gilchrist] told me the other day, that I am playing because I deserve to be in the side. Even David [Hussey] has been very supportive and has constantly encouraged me," he said.
Awana has dismissed the dangerous Chris Gayle in one of the matches but for him, the wicket of Rohit Sharma has been more satisfying. "The wicket of Chris Gayle would have been far more satisfying if we had won the match. I gave 17 runs in that over before dismissing Gayle. Had I given away less than eight runs, we could have won the match. But dismissing Rohit in the match against Mumbai Indians (in Mumbai) was far more satisfying. My plan worked and I was able to get a dangerous T20 player like him early."