New Delhi: It is difficult to expect that selectors would ring in changes when an Indian cricket team wins a series 3-0 on Australian soil which is precisely the reason why Pawan Negi is 'pleasantly surprised' after knowing about his selection for the T20 series against Sri Lanka.
"I will not say that I am shocked as I have been performing well in the limited-overs format. But it would be wrong to say that I am not surprised, as I did not expect to get a chance in a squad which has won a T20 series 3-0. Now that I am in the team, I would like to make full use of the opportunity if I happen to get a game," the diminutive left-arm spin bowling all-rounder told PTI yesterday.
Ask him about what has been the turning point of his career, he replied: "It has to be my performance in the 2014 Champions League T20 final against Kolkata Knight Riders where I got five wickets. A Man of the match award in a match with all international players around, it gave self belief that I can play for India.
"Not to forget the kind of support that Mahendra Singh Dhoni provided. He once told me that at this level, the main criteria would be ability to do well consistently," said the 23-year-old, who lives in Delhi's Sadiq Nagar area.
Meanwhile, vice-captain Virat Kohli was yesterday rested for the upcoming Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka for the three-match rubber, beginning February 9. Kohli has played 10 One-dayers and five T20s apart from four Test matches from the month of October to end of January.
Manish Pandey has also been rewarded for his match-winning century in the Sydney ODI against Australia as the selectors named him in the 15-member T20 squad. The selection panel chose to drop Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Mann and Umesh Yadav from the squad.
MS Dhoni (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pawan Negi.