Nottingham: Abhinav Mukund won't go slam bang if India make first use of the batting crease in Friday's second Test at Trent Bridge. But there will be a fair degree of internal aggro for sure considering what he said yesterday in the build-up to the Test.
"I just want to go and face the attack. Whatever happens will happen," said the rookie left-handed opener, who came into the side since the tour of the West Indies due to Virender Sehwag's troublesome shoulder injury.
I just want to go and face the English seamers, says opener Mukund.
A few moments earlier, Mukund was asked which attack he thought was better -- India's or England's. "I am not in a position to say which attack is better. I am only playing my second series," he said, before talking about the importance of sticking to his task.
"I came into the side from domestic cricket and Fidel Edwards was bowling at 90kmph. That was a reality check for me. However, I am looking forward to the challenge."
Mukund impressed the pundits in the three-Test series in the West Indies and though he didn't capitalise on his starts at Lord's where India lost by 196 runs on Monday, he did not come a cropper against arguably the best pace attack in the world. "I'm disappointed that I couldn't carry on after those starts," he stressed more than once.
A Sehwag-related question brought out the expressive, emphatic and eloquent side of him: "I don't want to replace Sehwag or play the type of game he plays. I just want to go out there and play the way I know how to play and if it comes off, it will help the team."
Mukund plays English media well
Abhinav Mukund fared well against the probing English journalists. First they tried to get him to say something on Zaheer Khan's injury status. The Tamil Nadu batsman asked them to check with the physiotherapist or the manager (Anirudh Choudhry) sitting besides him.
Then, they appeared to be trying to lure him to comment on what it will be like for India to be without Zaheer Khan. He got on the front foot as it were: "It is not that we have a depleted attack. Ishant Sharma is bowling well and was Man of the Series in the West Indies; Praveen Kumar got five wickets in an innings at Lords and S Sreesanth is waiting in the wings. It is just that if you lose a fast bowler during the game (like India did at Lord's), it is a different scenario."
Some of the English journalists didn't seem too happy when it was announced that Mukund was going to address them here on Thursday. Probably, they wanted a high profile player. By all accounts, Mukund faced and played them well even though he did not provide them much fodder to feed on. He'll be looking forward for a feed himself.