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'I was confident of making it back'
February 16, 2009

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After almost four years in the wilderness, 27-year-old Lakshmipathy Balaji is back in the Indian Test team.

Niggling injuries, the first signs of which showed up during the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2004 had kept him out of the side. But a decent showing at the inaugural Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and a great Ranji Trophy season in which he scalped 36 victims, earned him a late call-up to the One-Day International squad during the recently-concluded Sri Lanka tour as a replacement for the injured Munaf Patel.

Also see: The great Vishy turns 60

Though he failed to impress in the only match he played -- the fifth ODI which India lost to the islanders -- the selectors felt he was still good enough to be given a look for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.

Elated at the call-up, the right-arm medium fast bowler spoke with rediff.com's Shobha Warrier about the last four years, and how difficult they were.

Congratulations!

Thank you very much.

How difficult were these last four years?

It was a difficult period, as I was injured and not playing the game I love so much.

I was all the time thinking about the injury, but was confident that I would make it to the Indian team sooner or later; I had no doubt about it at all. I tried not to have any negative thoughts.

Photographs: Reuters

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