RP's absence surprised English commentators, says coach

RP Singh (R) had played his last Test about three years back AFP

By Abhishek Bajpai

Lucknow: Aug 7, 2011

After his ward was called back as the injured Zaheer Khan’s replacement for the lone T20 and ODI series against England, RP Singh’s coach said that even English commentators have expressed surprise over the UP bowler’s prolonged absence from the Indian squad.

English commentator Nasser Hussain, while expressing surprise over RP’s omission in the past, had said that why the bowler, who tested the English batsmen in the last tour, was not included in the team, Singh’s coach Deepak Sharma, who had gone to watch the first Test of the ongoing four-match series, told PTI.

“For me his selection in the team is like a wish come true,” Sharma said. RP had played his last Test about three years back.

“RP is a mentally strong player, whose determination get stronger on being dropped from the team,” said Sharma, who taught the basics of cricket to the left-arm seamer.

The coach said that he was not surprised with his student’s selection in place of the injured Zaheer as he performed well in domestic cricket and was continuously working on his bowling.

RP had a good bowling performance in England. During the 2007 tour he took 12 wickets at an average of 28.91 with a five-wicket haul in the Lords Test.

“He has the ability to take wickets of good batsmen and, with regular practice, has made efforts to sort out the shortcomings,” Sharma said.

RP, who has 40 wickets at an average of 39 in 13 Tests, played his last Test in April 2008 in Ahmedabad against South Africa.